ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two men are unlikely heroes after discovering a bag full of pipe bombs in Elizabeth, New Jersey, late Sunday night.
CBS2’s Emily Smith reported Ivan White and Lee Parker, who is homeless, took a late walk down north Moore when they stumbled upon a black backpack that Parker wanted for an upcoming job search as a forklifter.
“When I noticed the bag I said, ‘This is fine, I can have this for work, I can put my lunch in,’” Parker said.
White said he left for the store, but Parker got his attention, telling him to come back because it seemed suspicious.
“We picked it up. I continued around the corner to the store. He said, ‘This is kind of heavy,’” White said.
White continued, “He said, ‘You need to take a look at this, you need to take a look at this.’ So I picked up the bag, looked at it, we started walking and I put the bag down and looked inside it one more time and said, ‘This is a bomb. We need to go get the police.’”
Both White and Parker set the backpack on the ground and walked about five minutes to the police station to let authorities know they found something suspicious, which helped lead to the arrest of bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami.
When police recovered the backpack they used a bomb-handling robot, which triggered the device to explode.
“I watched the robot. That could have been me. I could’ve been the robot and I’ve seen what the bomb did to the robot,” Parker said. “I don’t know why God signed me up to find that but he did.”
White said he didn’t consider himself a hero.
“I consider myself a person in the right place at the right time, and I was glad I was able to do something to keep other people from being hurt,” White said.
Both Parker and White plan to speak with Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage Tuesday.
The mayor’s office would not comment on any reward going to the two men.