2018-06-20 / Front Page

Grenade Scare Empties Queens Courthouse

It wasn’t a joke.

A Queens man is facing multiple charges for attempting to bring what looked like a grenade into the Kew Gardens Criminal Court building on June 14th, police said.

Cops said David Hertsmen, 22, a former courthouse intern, decided to bring a “gag” gift when he went to visit friends at the job he left a few years ago.

Hertsmen walked into the courthouse at about 2:15 p.m. on June 14th, and sent a package containing a toy grenade through a metal detector. The package triggered alarms that brought dozens of police and court officers to the scanner, who whisked Hertsmen away for questioning.

The NYPD Bomb Squad shut down the courthouse and evacuated the building until officers were able to determine the grenade was a fake replica of the real thing – and a dud of a gag.

Queens Boulevard was reopened and people started filing back into the courthouse at about 2:45 p.m., after the Bomb Squad cops issued an “all clear,” police said.

Hertsmen was charged with placing a false bomb, filing a false report and criminal nuisance.

“You don’t fool with this king of thing,” a police source said. “Anyone should know that anything like this is taken very seriously.”


–Liz Goff 

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