Hero cops arrest bomb suspect moments after blast
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) – Four fast-acting police officers rushed to the scene of Monday morning’s terror attack and arrested the suspect moments after the blast that left him injured in an underground corridor of the subway system inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The officers have been identified as Port Authority officers Jack Collins, Sean Gallagher, Anthony Manfredini and Drew Preston. The Port Authority calls them “highly trained, historically proven, true blue.”
Manferdini was patrolling the corridor between the Times Square subway station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal when he saw panicked people running away from something, officials said. He immediately rushed to assess the situation and called for backup.
When Gallagher, Preston and Collins arrived to assist Manferdini in the smoke- and debris-filled passageway, they saw on the ground a wounded man with wires protruding from his clothes. He was reaching for a cellphone. The cops, with guns drawn, stopped him from getting his phone, which was on the ground.
“Our officers responded immediately and put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a statement.
The officers were concerned that the suspect might have been trying to detonate another bomb and so they wanted to protect the civilians who were still in the passageway, officials said.
“Our officers’ actions were commendable and we are thankful there were no serious injuries to any travelers,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said.
Collins was featured earlier in the year in a promotional video produced by the Port Authority Police Department. He works in a plainclothes unit called the Youth Service Unit and regularly does outreach policing. He has had an active role in catching sex crime suspects attempting to bring underaged girls into the city for sex trafficking.
Manfredini worked in the bomb detection K-9 unit. He and Gallagher are also U.S. Marines.
Preston is a U.S. Army veteran who served for 13 years.