Welcome To New York, Put Your Hands Behind Your Head

#1
The alert transit company supervisor, operator of a double-decker tourist bus in Manhattan, noticed that several male passengers were sporting "stuffed" trouser pockets.

She called the police.

They searched sixty passengers.

They placed the five offending "stuffed pocket" men in handcuffs and had them kneel on the pavement.

The police found no pocket-sized terrorism implements or other contraband. They then allowed this busload of terrorism suspects to go on about their business enjoying the sights and sounds of NYC.

"Police evacuate double-decker sightseeing bus" 24 July 2005
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/w...ul24,0,5817901.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork
 
#2
According to the radio just now, they were Sikh tourists from the UK (so were presumably wearing turbans, etc.). Would be interesting to know if there was really anything suspicious about them or if the tour operator saw turbans and beards then panicked. The police statement that was on the radio didn't seem to imply the police thought there was anything suspicious about them...
 
#3
Hmmm, some report the story differently:

New York was fear city yesterday as heavily armed police swarmed a double-decker bus packed with tourists in Times Square and later shut down Penn Station after an irate passenger said he had a bomb.
In a dramatic sign of the city's edginess since the London transit bombings, cops evacuated buildings, shut midtown streets and forced about 60 terrified tourists to march off the double-decker bus, with their hands up, in the heart of Broadway.

Cops in riot gear handcuffed a group of apparently harmless South Asian-looking men with British accents after a jittery tour bus worker reported they seemed suspicious.

The men were forced to kneel on the sidewalk, with their hands bound behind their backs, between 50th and 51st Sts. in front of the Winter Garden theater on a sunny summer Sunday with the city packed with tourists.

"People were really scared," said Jill Sully, 29, of Saskatoon, Canada. "There were sharpshooters with guns pointed toward our bus."

"I was scared out of my mind," said another passenger, Amanda Pesanello, 20, of Coventry, R.I. "We don't have things like this in Rhode Island."

The dramatic faceoff on Broadway came just days after the NYPD ratcheted up security after the July 7 and July 21 London transit bombs and began searching bags in the subway.

It also came after an apparently innocent man was killed Friday by London cops who mistook him for a fleeing terrorist.

The five men in yesterday's incident quickly were freed after cops determined they were tourists - not terrorists.

"We just want to clear our heads of the whole thing," one of the men told the Daily News. "We were humiliated enough."

"We just want to go," added another.

The scare unfolded about 11:30 a.m. after a Gray Line sightseeing bus worker told the driver some of the passengers getting aboard appeared suspicious.

"I was definitely frightened from the beginning," said the driver, Mohammed Stout, 43, of the Bronx. "That's human nature."

A Gray Line dispatcher called 911 and told cops the men had backpacks and their pockets "stuffed" - a possible warning sign of suicide bombers, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

By the time the bus neared Times Square, cops carrying heavy weapons decided to cordon off Broadway and stop the vehicle, a decision police officials defended as appropriate.

Bus passenger Kathy Arrigo, 45, of White Plains, said most of the tourists initially laughed off the show of force.

But the mood turned edgier as the cops kept the big red bus there for nearly 30 minutes.

Fear grew when cops ordered everyone to put their hands up and walk off the bus - leaving their bags to be searched.

"You want to talk about real terror?" said Arrigo's husband, Robert. "There were two little girls with their parents who were just terrified. They were crying uncontrollably."

Cops raced into a McDonald's nearby and told workers to shut down the place and get out as fast as they could.

"The cops just came in and said to evacuate the building and to run," said McDonald's employee Catherine Melendez.

Police eventually gave the allclear and the tourists were ushered into a nearby Applebee's restaurant for lunch. They later got back on a Gray Line bus to continue their tour.

Meanwhile, about 12:15 p.m., Penn Station was paralyzed when a disgruntled passenger, identified as Raul Claudio, 43, of the Bronx, walked up to a ticket counter, put his suitcase on the counter and declared he had a bomb, authorities said.

The contents of the suitcase proved harmless. The man was detained, and was to be charged with making a terroristic threat and falsely reporting an incident.

Hundreds of passengers were forced to evacuate the terminal and thousands more were delayed when Amtrak, commuter railroad and subway service was frozen for more than an hour.

"What can you do?" shrugged Dan Lindgren, 46, of Arlington, Va. "It's the times we live in."
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/331264p-283131c.html
 
#4
pdf27 said:
According to the radio just now, they were Sikh tourists from the UK (so were presumably wearing turbans, etc.). Would be interesting to know if there was really anything suspicious about them or if the tour operator saw turbans and beards then panicked. The police statement that was on the radio didn't seem to imply the police thought there was anything suspicious about them...
Going by the drivers name

the driver, Mohammed Stout, 43, of the Bronx
one would assume that he knew the difference between a sikh and a muslim, so don't think that was the reason behind it. Maybe they just looked really shady and the driver was aware of the heigtend security threat.
 
#5
Or Mohammed Stout was one of those American converts to Islam who still remains American in that he continues to be ignorant of other cultures.

I'm not even surprised by this story, we Sikhs appear to get sh1t wherever we go and whatever we do.

Ho-hum.
 
#7
LawyerSquaddie said:
Or Mohammed Stout was one of those American converts to Islam who still remains American in that he continues to be ignorant of other cultures.

I'm not even surprised by this story, we Sikhs appear to get sh1t wherever we go and whatever we do.

Ho-hum.
We live in a world where EVERY CREED/COLOUR gets sh1t, regardless of the colour of their skin LS. I do hope you are not suggesting that Sikh's have it any worse than others???
 
#9
I heard on Radio 4 that one of the British Sikhs said something along the lines of " not to worry, no harm done. We won't let it spoil our holiday."

What a very grown up attitude. Full marks to the guy who had every right to get very shirty. He proved, in that comment, that he was a very British Sikh.
 
#11
LawyerSquaddie said:
Or Mohammed Stout was one of those American converts to Islam who still remains American in that he continues to be ignorant of other cultures.

I'm not even surprised by this story, we Sikhs appear to get sh1t wherever we go and whatever we do.

Ho-hum.

You don't get any shite in Manchester. Sikhs are quite respected here.
 

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