Stampede of fear breaks out at NYC’s Penn Station

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The result was total mayhem after Amtrak police used a stun gun on an unruly man at New York City’s crowded Penn Station on Friday evening during rush hour.

A stalled NJ Transit train that caused major delays just before the holiday weekend contributed to unusually overcrowded conditions and added to the chaos when police subdued a man with a stun gun around 6:30 p.m. The noise of the gun apparently caused frightened travelers to stampede, injuring 16 people, according to FDNY officials.

“We were sitting on the ground and all of a sudden we heard this loud noise and everyone started sprinting,” said witness Aubrey Moore, 24. “It sounded like a gunshot, but nobody knew what was going on so I just sprinted.”

A video of the arrest showed police pinning a man on the ground and placing him in handcuffs. He was then taken into custody. Officers from the NYPD and members of the National Guard assisted in the arrest.

Several other videos showed panicked crowds as they tried to escape what many thought was a shooting.

According to another witness, Anna Renzi, 24, “I thought I heard someone yell ‘shooter,’ that’s why I threw my nephew behind a counter and jumped over and they just had us hide in the storage closet because I had the kids. The employees were so awesome — they just had us hide there until it was safe to come out.”

 

In an effort to calm fears, officials and the NYPD took to social media after the stampede.

“Bad information. No shots have been fired at Penn Station. @NYPDMTS @NYPDSpecialops @Amtrak,” NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald wrote.

Mayor de Blasio tweeted, “No shots were fired at Penn Station this evening. FDNY is on scene treating injuries that were sustained during panic.”

Police also responded to reports of a shooter at a nearby Macy’s, but this was apparently a false alarm.

Penn Station commuters have had to deal with unreliable train service lately, including two train derailments in less than two weeks.

H/T: NY Daily News

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