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Arrests in Lincoln Tunnel case

February 4, 2009 6:12:38 PM PST
Police have arrested two New Jersey men in a series of incidents at the Lincoln Tunnel. During last Friday evening's rush hour, the discovery of two suspicious bottles filled with an unknown liquid and glued to the median forced Port Authority police to close down the Lincoln Tunnel for hours.

As Eyewitness News first reported, police records showed it was the third such incident in a month. The first one occurring four weeks ago, when someone placed "3 plastic heart shaped bottles" of an unknown liquid on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel. One bottle had a ''gray wire inside" and a message, "don't look at me." And then again last Wednesday, two "red sealed bottles were glued" near a lamp post.

Port Authority Police identified the first suspect as Lawrence Fellilppello, 39, of Vernon, N.J. He was charged with making a terroristic threat. The second suspect was arrested Tuesday night, but he was not immediately identified.

According to investigators, the suspects glued several plastic bottles to the median divider on the approach road to the Lincoln Tunnel on several occasions, most recently last Friday, as a "spoof."

Friday's incident caused hours long delays as traffic was diverted away from the tunnel and nearby roadways until police determined the bottles did not pose a risk.

"What these men perpetrated was no laughing matter, and we're sending a clear message here by treating this seriously ? during the initial investigation of the suspicious items, in pursuing the suspects, and in filing charges," Port Authority Director of Public Safety/Police Superintendent Samuel J. Plumeri Jr. said.

Police investigating the incidents tied the Lincoln Tunnel cases to a similar prank recently in another location, leading to a break in the investigation.

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