Cops stopped Port Authority terror suspect from grabbing his cell phone

The first cops to arrive at the blast scene under the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Monday morning stopped the bomber from reaching for his cell phone – concerned it could have been used as a detonator, sources told The Post.

Officers Jack Collins, 45, Sean Gallagher, 26, Drew Preston, 36, and Anthony Manferdini, 28, encountered 27-year-old Akayed Ullah moments after Ullah set off the pipe-bomb strapped to his chest in an underground walkway, officials said.

They saw an injured Ullah lying on the ground with visible wires stretching from his jacket to his pants, and reaching for his cell phone.

The officers – knowing that a cell phone could indicate a detonation device based on their training – prevented Ullah from reaching the device, according to a source.

They were able to arrest Ullah, and secure and evacuate the area before the NYPD Bomb Squad arrived on scene, according to officials.

Manferdini, a former Marine with bomb technician experience, was on patrol in the area and became aware of the 7:20 a.m. bombing by panicked commuters running out of the passageway.

He radioed-in the incident and the three other officers responded to the walkway passageway between W. 42nd Street and 8th Avenue and W. 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, which they described as smoke-filled, the source said.

Gallagher is a former Marine and Preston is a former Army solider with three tours in Iraq, the source said. Collins doubles as an attorney.

“Thanks to the quick response of these brave Port Authority Police officers, the suspect was apprehended, there were no serious injuries and the [Port Authority Bus Terminal] was secured without further incident,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said.

“Our officers responded immediately and put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.”

Ullah, a Brooklyn resident from Bangladesh, injured three other people when he detonated the device.

The victims suffered minor injuries.

Source: https://nypost.com/2017/12/11/cops-stopped-port-authority-terror-suspect-from-grabbing-his-cell-phone/

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