New York

911 Call Played at Accused Rahimi Trial: ‘It Looks Like It Could Be a Bomb'

Among the evidence presented in the trial of accused New York and New Jersey bomber Ahmad Rahimi Tuesday was a gripping 911 call made by passerby Jane Schreibman when she spotted an undetonated pressure-cooker bomb on a Manhattan street. 

"There's like a pot that's shut and has wires coming out of it, and it goes into another bag," Schreibman tells the police dispatcher in the call. "It just looks like it could -- it looks like it could be a bomb, and I know there was a bomb on 23rd, explosion." 

Schreibman, a longtime Chelsea resident, called police the night of September 17, 2016, after spotting the cooking pot on the sidewalk near a mailbox on West 27th Street. Moments earlier, another bomb had gone off a few blocks away, injuring 30 people. 

The dispatcher speaking with Schreibman misunderstood her at first, asking how long the explosion went on. 

"No, no, there was no explosion," Schreibman says. "I just said I saw this pot with wires coming out of it on the street."

The dispatcher tells Schreibman someone else had just called about the same thing.

"Pot wrapped up with duct tape? Hanging wires out?"

"Yes! Yes," Schreibman says. "Someone already called?"

The dispatcher confirms another caller has reported the suspicious device and that it's been marked "very high priority."

"Everybody's coming there," the dispatcher says. "They'll be there as soon as possible... they're already on the way OK?"

Schreibman was honored in May with the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the state Senate, for her "selflessness and quick thinking." 

Prosecutors say Rahimi planted a pipe bomb at a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, that exploded but didn't injure anyone, prosecutors say. He went back home, then took a train into Manhattan and planted two pressure cooker bombs; one didn't go off, they said. The other, hidden near a large trash bin, burst at about 8:30 p.m. sending the 100-pound trash bin flying into the air. The blast shattered windows and sent bits of metal into the air.

Rahimi has not been charged with terrorism, but federal lawyers say his interest in jihad, terrorist attacks and terrorist organizations vastly influenced his plans. His trial entered its second day Tuesday. 

Contact Us