Man Charged in Connection With Rice Cooker Scare, Police Say

Man Charged in Connection With Rice Cooker Scare, Police Say

The police on Saturday charged a man in connection with placing three rice cookers — two in a subway station and one in a Chelsea neighborhood — setting off a bomb scare that disrupted the morning commute on Friday, officials said.

The man, identified by the police as Larry K. Griffin II, 26, was taken into custody in the Bronx early on Saturday.

He was charged with three felony counts of placing a false bomb — one count for each of the rice cookers, the police said. A motive for the placement of the rice cookers remained unknown.

The episode began around 7 a.m. on Friday after the authorities were alerted to two suspicious appliances at the Fulton Street subway station. An hour later, the police were alerted to a third suspicious device near a garbage can in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Around 10 a.m., officials announced that all three devices were empty rice cookers and were not dangerous. All three were the same model rice cooker, officials said.

Mr. Griffin, a former resident of Bruno, W.Va., was seen on video leaving two devices on the subway platform at the Fulton Street station and his photo was widely distributed.

John Miller, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said officials did not know why Mr. Griffin had placed the rice cookers in the subway. He said they could have been trash “and this guy picked them up and discarded them.”

A local sheriff’s office in West Virginia said in a news release that it had been contacted by law enforcement officials about Mr. Griffin. The release said Mr. Griffin had been arrested at least three times in the past eight years.

Charges in West Virginia against Mr. Griffin included possession of a controlled substance involving weapons and use of obscene material to seduce a minor. He also had an active warrant for his arrest for failure to report and for missing drug screens as part of his pretrial bond supervision, the release said.

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