MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — Authorities nabbed two “armed and dangerous” men wanted in connection with threats to the Jewish community in New York City, officials said.
MTA officers spotted Christopher Brown, 21, and Matthew Mahrer, 22, entering Penn Station Friday after they were tipped off by the NYPD and FBI about the potential threat. Authorities seized a Nazi armband, a sizable hunting knife, a 30-round magazine, an illegal Glock 17 pistol, and various other items during the investigation, police said Saturday.
“One of them had a Nazi armband, another had a gun with bullets,” New York City Councilman Ari Kagan said. “So it was a real threat.”
“I never imagined that in this year, 2022, we will see such a large increase in antisemitic crimes,” he added.
Brown was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon. Mahrer was also arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, officials said.
The NYPD stationed officers at local Jewish buildings in New York out of an abundance of caution, officials said Sunday.
“As a joint investigation now continues to establish a strong prosecution, Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City,” Sewell said. “And I join all New Yorkers today in expressing my gratitude and pride for the ever-vigilant work of our NYPD women and men — who remain on-guard around-the-clock and every day to protect the peace and ensure no violence can ever come to the city and its people.”
In a statement, MTA Police Department Chief John Mueller said:
Two MTA police officers assigned to patrol at Penn Station late Friday night, having been notified by an MTA PD detective assigned to the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), identified two men wanted in connection with threats to the Jewish community…The tremendous police work here reflects the MTA PD’s core purpose – protecting millions of daily commuters, in collaboration with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.
Upon apprehension, the wanted individuals were turned over to the NYPD and FBI.