NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Chilling 911 tapes were released Thursday in the telephone threat that jammed traffic around the Lincoln Tunnel during the evening rush earlier this week.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, suspect Donald Wallace, 39, faced a judge Thursday for allegedly making a hoax phone call to 911 Tuesday afternoon saying there was a sniper near the tunnel.
His alleged threat triggered a massive response from law enforcement, terrified commuters, and jammed up traffic. Police had to draw their guns and surround the Lincoln Tunnel.
According to police, the call came in shortly after 5 p.m. with what appeared to be a pre-recorded message – with a reference to a sniper and a non sequitur about chemicals.
A 911 operator answered the phone and asked, “What’s your emergency?”
The operator heard a message that 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 titrate.”
Methyl chloride is a dangerous chemical that can cause serious effects on the nervous system, but there is no such thing as menthol chloride. Titrate is not a chemical or even a noun; it is a verb meaning to measure the quantity of one chemical in a solution by adding another chemical to the point where a reaction occurs.
In response to the call, police and SWAT teams were seen sweeping the streets of Weehawken. Police also ordered passengers off a Hudson-Bergen NJ TRANSIT Light Rail train near the Lincoln Harbor station.
Police initially traced the call to the area near Dykes Lumber, which is located near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken.
The building was searched and nothing was found, but authorities were later able to trace the phone to Manhattan where they arrested Wallace.
Wallace has been charged with making terroristic threats and transmitting a false alarm.
Police said Wallace, who has lived in College Park, Georgia and most recently in Philadelphia, has a criminal history. Investigators said he was arrested back in April, also for allegedlymaking terroristic threats.
Sources also told CBS 2’s Sloan that no chemicals or weapons were discovered on Wallace. Authorities in New Jersey were still waiting for Wallace to waive his extradition, and if he does, he will make his first appearance in a courtroom in Jersey City.
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