Date: Oct 07, 2008
Press Release Number: 113-2008
A Sussex County, N.J., man was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat, and charges are pending against another man following a Port Authority Police investigation of incidents that disrupted traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority Bus Terminal last week.
Lawrence Fellilppello, 39, of Vernon, N.J., was arrested by Port Authority Police and charged with making a terroristic threat, and police are actively searching for a second New Jersey man. The suspect will be arraigned and the case handled by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to information obtained by Port Authority Police, the suspects glued several plastic bottles to the median divider on the approach road to the Lincoln Tunnel on several occasions, most recently last Friday, as a “spoof.”
Police investigating the incidents were forced to divert traffic away from the tunnel and nearby roadways before determining the bottles did not pose a risk. The traffic diversion on Friday evening caused extensive delays for tens of thousands of commuters at the tunnel and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Port Authority Director of Public Safety/Police Superintendent Samuel J. Plumeri Jr. said, “What these men perpetrated was no laughing matter, and we’re sending a clear message here by treating this seriously – during the initial investigation of the suspicious items, in pursuing the suspects, and in filing charges.”
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward J. DeFazio said, “This is a serious matter and will be treated as such when it is presented to a grand jury, and additional charges may be considered by that body. The traveling public should rest assured that we regard any threat as an important matter of public safety, and we’ll pursue these cases aggressively.”
Police investigating the incidents tied the Lincoln Tunnel cases to a similar prank recently in an adjoining jurisdiction, leading to a break in the investigation, which remains ongoing.
The case was investigated by Port Authority Police Detectives James Eirand, Ron Nafey, Michael Kennedy and Elizabeth Danese, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Robert Belfiore and Inspector Anthony Fitzgerald and overall supervision of Superintendent Plumeri. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit is prosecuting the case.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Pasquale DiFulco, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.