Larry Griffin

NYPD/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Brother of man apprehended in rice cooker subway scare: ‘It may have been a cry for help’

August 17, 2019 - 12:42 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – The brother of the West Virginia man suspected of placing rice cookers in a Manhattan subway station says his brother is homeless and mentally ill and that it may have been a “cry for help.”

The two cookers found at the Fulton Street subway station in Chelsea Friday morning turned out not to be explosive.

Larry Griffin II was apprehended early Saturday in the Bronx by police. No charges have been announced.

His brother, Jason Griffin, told the Daily Mail that he called his 26-year-old sibling when he realized police were looking for him.

“I tried to tell him to turn himself in and be calm but once I gave him words of rationality he hung-up,” Griffin said.

He said his brother tried to check himself into a psychiatric hospital just days ago but was refused admittance.

“He is bipolar and has never been medicated. We come from the South with not a lot of parental instruction from the family. He needs to be medicated,” Griffin said, according to the Daily Mail.

Jason Griffin said his brother would push a shopping cart around and sleep in boxes for “fun” since becoming homeless in New York City in March of this year—a lifestyle he considered an "adventure."

He told the Daily Mail that the rice cookers in the bomb scare were something he found outside a sushi restaurant.

“'He put them in his shopping cart and went on a little adventure, how he ended up on the subway I don't know,” he said.

“I’m just guessing, it may have been a cry for help,” he said.

NBC4 reported that Griffin was arrested in Harlem on drug charges several weeks ago.

The Logan County Sheriff's Department said Griffin had a criminal history in the state and that it has arrested him at least three times in the past eight years, including a 2017 arrest on charges alleging he sent obscene material to a minor.

The NYPD said security cameras captured a man pulling the cookers out of a shopping cart and placing them in the Fulton Street subway station near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

A third cooker of the same make, year and model was found about two miles away on a sidewalk in Chelsea, prompting another police investigation.

Multiple subway lines were partially suspended during the police investigation Friday, and delays continued throughout the morning.

Dozens of suspicious packages are reported daily in the city, but the proximity of the subway station to the site of the Sept. 11 attacks served to heighten anxiety before police gave the all-clear.

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