NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was arrested in connection with a threat that terrified commuters and snarled traffic on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel Tuesday evening, police said.
Donald Dangelo Wallace, 39, was arrested by Port Authority detectives at on 47th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan at around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, Weehawken Police Detective Sgt. Thomas White said.
Wallace — who had lived in College Park, Georgia and most recently in Philadelphia — has a criminal history, White said. He was charged with making terroristic threats and creating false public alarm.
According to White, a 911 call came in shortly after 5 p.m. with what appeared to be a pre-recorded message.
The message said, “Get your hospitals up. The DC sniper is here in your city and its a n*****. Get all your police ready and captivate. It’s a cold one and you better win. I have a DC sniper that is driving into your city right now. One part menthol chloride three parts nitrate.”
The call then hangs up, White said. The call was first tracked to Waterfront Terrace in Weehawken. The second tracked call was near the Dykes Lumber Building located at 1899 Park Ave. in Weehawken, White said.
The building overlooks the Lincoln Tunnel.
Dykes was searched but no suspect was found. The phone was than tracked to New York City.
The massive police response shut down 19th Street between Willow and Park Avenues in Weehawken, not far from the tunnel.
“I did see an Army vehicle go by and there were a lot of helicopters,” one woman told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.
Police also ordered passengers off a Hudson-Bergen NJ TRANSIT Light Rail train near the Lincoln Harbor station just after 7 p.m.
Some passengers were visibly upset by the whole ordeal, while others had no idea what was happening when those heavily armed officers boarded the train.
“As soon as we saw all the commotion, we realized there was something going on in the back car. We saw people’s hands up. We thought maybe there was a stick-up. We didn’t really know what was going on,” said Daniel Nussbaum of Teaneck, New Jersey.
“I saw a lot of people coming out from the tunnel — the police, the ambulance,” nearby resident Sophia told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten.
Major delays were also reported in nearby Hoboken, and in the Lincoln Tunnel itself. NJ TRANSIT buses stopped running, and passengers on board were told to find another way home.
Wallace was being held by Port Authority police waiting extradition back to Weekhawn to face charges.
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