A man who thew a fake bomb at police near Times Square has finally been arrested after an six-hour standoff.
Footage has been released showing the moment that Hector Meneses, 52, of Queens, threw a suspicious device into a police car near Times Square around midnight.
The suspect then drove off in a Chrysler SUV but police caught up with him at just after 2am at Columbus Circle by Central Park in Manhattan.
Cops were forced to lockdown the busy area for six hours during negotiations after Meneses, who refused to get out of his car, claimed he had a bomb strapped to his chest and ‘wanted to die.’
The incident caused huge commuter chaos during rush hour as tense negotiations continued until around 8am.
Police had sent in a bomb squad robot to check out the vehicle during the standoff before using pepper spray to take Meneses, who was wearing a red plastic helmet and a vest, into custody with no further incident.
He was taken away from the scene on a stretcher.
A Special Ops spokesman confirmed that: ‘Columbus Circle #ESU placed the man in SUV into custody without incident. Great job by all. No injuries.’
The lengthy ordeal began at just after midnight in Times Square when two officers reported that a suspicious package was thrown in their car.
The cops, who drove a block away from the popular tourist destination, later discovered the device was a flashlight and a candle wrapped in tin foil.
Sgt. Hameed Armani and officer Peter Cybulski both said their prayers before driving away with the ‘bomb’.
‘I looked around and saw kids and young people,’ Armani told NBC New York. ‘I said, ‘We’re gonna go, but I’m not gonna have anyone go with us.”
‘We knew what each other was thinking,’ added Cybulski, a three-year cop with the NYPD. ‘We weren’t going to let anything happen in Times Square.’
‘Both the sergeant and officer acted heroically during this event,’ said Sgt. Brendan Ryan of their decision not to throw what they believed at the time was a bomb from the car immediately.
They called the bomb squad, who confirmed there were no explosives and gave the all-clear around 1am, according to Assistant Commissioner J Peter Donald.
An alert was put out and at around 2.10am officers pulled over a driver in a gray Chrylser SUV that matched the description of the one driven by the bomb hoaxer, at Columbus Circle.
NYPD Assistant Commissioner for Communication and Public Information J. Peter Donald said in a press conference: ‘Upon stopping the SUV, a male driver was observed placing a red plastic helmet on his head. The male did not communicate with the officers, who then called for backup,’ he said.