NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two NYPD Bomb Squad detectives were promoted Friday for their roles in the Chelsea bombing case earlier this month.
Detectives Jason Hallik and Anthony Mason moved and disassembled a pressure cooker bomb found on West 27th Street on Sept. 17.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Hallik had to suit up and take what Bomb Squad members call “the long walk” to contain the device.
“It’s a tremendous amount of heart, tremendous amount of courage to do something like that,” O’Neill said.
Hallik said he used a robot to remove a cellphone detonator that was attached to the unexploded device, and move the bomb into a Total Containment Vessel.
Once the bomb arrived at the NYPD’s gun range at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx, Counterterrorism Chief James Waters said “much discussion and thought went into how we were going to remove the device from the containment vehicle and then place it on a workbench.”
Hallik and Mason safely disarmed the bomb and preserved its vital evidence, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
Asked why he’s in the Bomb squad, Hallik said there’s great satisfaction in helping others.
“Every device you take care of saves lives,” Hallik said.
Hallik and Mason were promoted to second-grade detectives.
The bomb was allegedly left inside a suitcase by Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is accused planting another bomb that injured 29 people when it exploded on West 23rd Street. Surveillance video shows Rahami rolling the suitcase containing the device down the street, then abandoning it on the sidewalk, prosecutors said. A few minutes later, two passersby removed the pressure cooker and walked off with the suitcase.
Rahami is also accused of planting bombs at two sites in New Jersey. He is facing several federal charges including use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use.