Amtrak Police plan to charge the man taken into custody on Friday following a Taser incident at Penn Station that caused widespread panic, a spokesman said Monday.
The man, who was not immediately identified, was hospitalized for a psychological evaluation after he was taken into custody. Police “will be seeking to arrest the suspect upon his discharge from the hospital,” the spokesman said in a statement.
Panic broke out in Penn Station after an Amtrak police officer used a Taser to subdue the man, who the company said was not obeying orders, around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the NYPD. Some in the crowded transit hub were spooked by the noise and, fearing it was a gunshot, ran for the exits.
About 16 people suffered non-life threatening injuries in the panic that ensued, the NYPD said. The reports of an active shooter or shots being fired in Penn Station were quickly deemed untrue, they said.
The crowded conditions at Penn Station had been amplified by the start of the Easter holiday weekend as well as delays and service changes on New Jersey Transit due to an overhead power problem that caused an inbound train to become disabled in the Hudson Tunnel.
In the hours following the stampede, Penn Station was littered with luggage and spilled food and drinks left behind by scared travelers.
Despite the mayhem, Amtrak on Monday appeared to stand by the officer’s decision to use a Taser.
“While Friday night’s incident remains under departmental review consistent with standard procedures, preliminarily indications suggest the deployment was consistent with policy allowing authorized officers to subdue a potentially violent or actively resisting subject,” the Amtrak spokesman said in the statement.
It was not immediately clear when the suspect would be released from the hospital.
With Lauren Cook