Hudson River Park Bike Path Becomes Trail of Terror and Carnage

Following a candlelight march from Pier 40 along the Hudson River Park esplanade, people gather on Pier 25 in Tribeca for a memorial to the victims of the terror rampage along the bike path that killed eight people. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Posted
Oct. 31, 2017

UPDATED Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

The day after the Hudson River Park bike path became a terrorist’s trail of carnage, the park and West Street, from Chambers Street to 14th Street, remained an active crime scene as NYPD helicopters hovered low overhead and detectives and forensic investigators scoured the area for evidence. West Street was opened in both directions Wednesday evening and the park opened Thursday morning.

“We have a lot to go through,” said John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism. “The detective bureau in particular, using hundreds of detectives, has been going up and down the West Side Highway on both sides of the street meticulously trying to pick up every piece of video from every security camera, every traffic camera, every bank camera, anything that will help us put together this timeline and have the imagery to go with it so we can reconstruct as much of this as possible.”

Authorities gave an investigation update Wednesday on the terror attack by truck that killed eight people and injured 12 others. They said that the accused assailant, Sayfullo Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan living legally in the U.S. since 2010, had been planning the rampage for “a number of weeks.” Notes and other items recovered at the scene near Chambers and West Street, where Saipov’s rented truck crashed into a school bus, indicate that he had followed “almost exactly to a T” the instructions by ISIS on social media on how to carry out an attack, Miller said.

“Multiple knives” as well as two imitation guns—a pellet gun and paintball gun—were found near Saipov, where he had been shot in the abdomen by 1st Precinct Officer Ryan Nash and arrested before being removed to Bellevue Hospital.

Saipov, it would seem, wanted to inflict as many injuries as possible by charging his victims from behind. According to Miller, he appeared to have been traveling in the southbound bike lane.

Among the dead are five Argentinians, one Belgian and two Americans. Three of the 12 injured victims have been released from the hospital, with four remaining in critical but stable condition and the other five in serious condition, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Injuries, he said, “ranged from bilateral amputation to serious head, neck, back and chest trauma and trauma to arms and legs.”

Officer Ryan Nash, 28, a five-year veteran of the force, had been in the area after responding to the report of a suicidal Stuyvesant High School student, according to the Daily News. Nash shot the suspect after he refused to drop what appeared to be real guns, the Daily News said.

Tawhid Kabir, 20, a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, had just left the school when he said he saw a truck “hit something” and a man in the street with two guns in his hands. At first thinking he was witnessing a Halloween stunt, he went up to the Tribeca Bridge, which overlooks the intersection of Chambers and West Street.

“He was just running around, like someone was chasing him in the middle of the road," Kabir said. “Then I heard like five or six gunshots and I just got down. Then I look around and I saw the guy he’s down and the cops just got him.” See Kabir’s video below.

To assist the investigation, William Sweeney, Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s New York Division, said his office is calling on people with photos or video of the scene to upload them to fbi.gov/nyctribeca.

As for disruption to the neighborhood caused by the investigation,  “We are very grateful for the patience and the resiliency of the workers and the people that reside in the Tribeca area,” he said.

 

Video by Tawhid Kabir