NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have released surveillance video of the suspect who climbed out of a sidewalk grate and hurled a smoke bomb into a Greenwich Village restaurant Friday night.
Police said they’re looking for a man in his 30s who mysteriously emerged from a subway grate and tossed the smoke bomb that landed on a table at Bar Pitti on Sixth Avenue at around 5:45 p.m.READ MORE: Remote Option Returning To NYC Schools As Omicron Continues To Fuel Nationwide Spike In COVID Cases
The bomb emitted red smoke when a suspect wearing an American flag T-shirt hurled it, police said. The manager at Bar Pitti said an employee grabbed the smoking device and tossed it back outside, at which point the suspect ducked back underground and disappeared.
The incident brought the NYPD Bomb Squad to the scene, but no one was injured, police said.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, residents and tourists in the bustling neighborhood were shocked.
“Apparently, a man came out of the subway grate over there jumped out, and threw a smoke bomb into the restaurant,” said tourist Jim Webb.
Webb said as many as 65 police officers responded to the scene.
“First thought was ISIS with everything going on. It’s scary. It’s nerve-wracking, as a native Long Islander coming to the city for dinner with friends and family,” said tourist Kay Maygothling. “I’m glad I didn’t bring my daughter.”READ MORE: Driver Charged After 15-Year-Old Girl Struck, Killed By School Bus In Brooklyn Hit-And-Run
At least one restaurant-goer complained on Twitter that the red smoke stung her eyes, but others said it was not noxious.
Hours after the incident, restaurant customers filled the sidewalk café once more, under the watchful eye of a lone police officer. Some of them joked about what might have been behind the bizarre incident.
“It’s New York. We have troglodytes,” said Manhattan resident Hal Hayes. “They live down in the tunnels. They come out when they need some air.”
“Is your lovely little restaurant on somebody’s hit list?” said Manhattan resident Cleve Harp.
It was not known whether the smoke bomb incident was a statement, a warning, or something to do with the restaurant business. Police said it was not related to terrorism.
The suspect remained on the loose late Friday night.
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