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Rail tunnel security breaches cause scare in NYC

(The following appeared on the New York Post website on May 9, 2011.)

NEW YORK — Two terrifying rail security breaches occurred within hours of each other in the city yesterday -- including one at the World Trade Center, where a man slipped into the PATH tunnel and walked all the way to Jersey before saying he had left a bomb in the tunnel.

That scare -- and an unrelated escapade involving four "urban explorers" infiltrating the under-construction Second Avenue Subway tunnel -- come just days after the feds warned that al Qaeda could be targeting US trains.

There was no bomb on the tracks, police said.

Officials said Reymundo Rodriguez, 20, of Bayonne, NJ, had hopped down onto the tracks in a Manhattan PATH tunnel. The station was being patrolled by two Port Authority cops.

Rodriguez then walked the two miles to Jersey City.

A PA contractor, Lee Anderson, spotted him exiting at around 3 a.m. and called police.

"I just put a bomb down on the tracks," Rodriguez allegedly told officers.

The tunnel was shut down while the Joint Terrorism Task Force and bomb-sniffing dogs searched for a device.

Rodriguez was charged with criminal trespass, evaluated at a hospital and released.

At around 4:30 a.m., cops arrested four men who had allegedly sneaked into the Second Avenue Subway tunnel carrying Roman candles and cameras.

The men told cops that they were part of an "urban explorers" group and that they planned to use the fireworks for light for photos.

Eric Ruggiero, 25, of Manhattan; Jacob Bloom, 21, of Glen Cove, LI; Braiden O'Sullivan, 21, of Connecticut and William West, 27, of Massachusetts were charged with criminal trespass after Harlem resident Jerry Jackson alerted cops that the four had descended into the tunnel around 112th Street.

Full story: New York Post

Monday, May 9, 2011

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