Man accused of placing rice cookers around NYC arraigned

Man accused of placing rice cookers around NYC arraigned
CNN Video

The man accused of placing three suspicious devices that turned out to be empty rice cookers was arraigned Sunday on charges of placing false bombs in Manhattan.

Larry Griffin, 26, has been charged with one count of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance and two counts of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in a sports stadium, said Naomi Puzzello, spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The use of the phrase “sports stadium” also applies to “mass transportation facility” and “enclosed shopping mall,” according to New York statutory language. Two of the rice cookers were found at a subway station, and one had been put out on the street with garbage.

Griffin’s bail was set at $200,000 and his next court date is Friday.

CNN reached out to his attorney, Michael Croce, for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

Rice cookers were reported to police as suspicious devices

Griffin was implicated in all three rice cooker discoveries, NYPD Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell told CNN. Court documents say he was seen on video placing one of the rice cookers near an elevator.

The three rice cookers were discovered Friday morning in downtown Manhattan, prompting a brief scare and causing delays during the busy morning subway commute. They were reported as suspicious devices.

Pressure cookers have previously been used in terrorist attacks, including in the 2016 bombing in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

All the devices found in Manhattan Friday were ultimately deemed safe.

The first two suspicious appliances were found empty at the Fulton Street subway complex, NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre said . A third empty rice cooker was found at West 16th Street and 7th Avenue, where it had been put out with the garbage, he said.

CNN’s Brynn Gingras, Dakin Andone and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.