A pair of arrests at New York City’s Penn Station prevented a “developing threat” to the Jewish community, the head of the NYPD announced Saturday.
Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer were stopped at the bustling transit hub overnight, the former suspected of posting online threats, two senior law enforcement sources told News 4. The sources also said Brown was in possession of a swastika armband.
Brown, of Aquebogue, Long Island, had been identified just a day earlier after making the alleged threats. His online posts were uncovered by the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement.
Mahrer was allegedly arrested in possession of a knife, and a subsequent search of his Upper West Side residence turned up a handgun, sources said.
“By early Saturday, the NYPD’s exhaustive intelligence-gathering led to the arrest by sharp-eyed MTA police officers of two individuals entering Penn Station, in Manhattan, and the seizures of a large hunting knife, an illegal Glock 17 firearm and 30-round magazine, and several other items,” Sewell said.
Investigators are trying to determine which of the two men the gun belongs to, as both men believed came and went from the apartment recently, sources said. Both face weapons charges; only Brown is looking at charges of aggravated harassment and making a terrorist threat, police said.
Sewell recommended the work of her department’s officers, and said police commanders would be “strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City” in the wake of the arrests.