Two cousins in the East Village happened to be in the right place at the right time, and helped the NYPD collar the alleged Brooklyn subway shooter.
Frank James was taken into custody at about 2 p.m. on April 13 near the corner of 1st Avenue and St. Mark’s Place after Zack Tahaan and his cousin spotted the suspect at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant and called for help.
The cousins recounted the scene later on Wednesday afternoon to members of the press stationed outside the 9th Precinct, where James was brought following his arrest.
“When the Police Department is pulling up on the street, we go to them and stop them. We say, ‘He’s like, one block away. He’s over there wearing a cap, carrying his bag,'” Tahaan said. “And those officers went to him and they caught him right away.”
The news about the shooting on April 12 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn — in which James allegedly shot 10 people riding a Manhattan-bound N train at the 36th Street station — shook the cousins. They said they had seen the images of James circulated in the media and had recognized the suspect on sight.
“[We] had seen his pictures, and I told my mom, I told my cousin, that we need to catch this man. We don’t want to be in more trouble with more people dying,” he said.
Zack said James was arrested without further incident, and didn’t appear to resist the officers at all.
“They directly recognized him, they directly approached him and put the handcuffs on his back,” Tahaan said. “He didn’t fight, he didn’t do anything. He totally surrendered and [went] with them.”
The two cousins said the realized the risk involved in reporting James to police, but indicated that they did so carefully in order to prevent further harm.