Jan. 6, 2021 Christian Murray
A right-wing extremist who allegedly planted a fake bomb on top of a car at the Queens Place Mall Monday has been charged with making terrorist threats and faces up to 7 years in prison.
Louis Shenker, a 22-year-old man from Massachusetts, was arraigned Wednesday before a Queens Criminal Court Judge on charges of placing a false bomb in an enclosed mall and making a terrorist threat.
“Sadly, we live in a world where terror attacks are far too real,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “Fake bombs and hoaxes of any kind create panic and fear. We take all potential threats seriously.”
Shenker is alleged to have left a vehicle inside the garage at the Queens Place Mall that had a gas tank and wires attached, giving the appearance of a bomb. The car, a black Tesla, was also covered in blankets, cardboard boxes, a Black Lives Matter sign and there was a dog inside.
According to the Queens DA, Shenker was observed by police earlier that morning standing next to the Tesla that had stalled on the parking garage ramp. A police officer saw him at 4:50 a.m. with a second man– who has yet to be apprehended–trying to charge the vehicle with an electric bike.
The officer inspected Shenker’s driver’s license and a California ID belonging to an alleged accomplice. He observed blankets, clothing, a dog and a Black Lives Matter sign.
Shenker told the officer that he had called a tow company.
The vehicle was discovered hours later by an employee of the Queens Place Mall who reported it to police at around 7:35 a.m.
After evacuating the mall and analyzing the device, the NYPD determined at around 9:35 a.m. that it was a fake.
Shenker later turned himself into police at a Brooklyn precinct at 3 a.m. Tuesday. He is currently being held without bail and has been ordered to return to court Jan. 7.