By Anna Gustafson
A Rego Park teenager was charged last week with phoning in bomb threats at two subway stations in the borough, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Veniamin Yagudayev, 19, of 63rd Drive, allegedly made phone calls to 911 Sept. 14 inside the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station and the Roosevelt Avenue subway stop in Jackson Heights, saying there were bombs on the E train, according to Brown.
While no bombs were found in the stations or on the trains, residents said it still was frightening, particularly because a homeless man recently attacked a man with a knife on a subway platform at the 71st Street-Continental Avenue subway stop in Forest Hills in the beginning of October. The victim was sent to Elmhurst Hospital, where he received about 15 to 20 stitches, according to the DA.
“I go to both the Union Turnpike and the Continental stops, and hearing about this makes you shudder,” said Marcus Leibowitz of Kew Gardens. “I’m just bracing for something really awful to happen.”
Erin Katz, also of Kew Gardens, said she has thought about leaving the city for fear of a subway attack.
“I don’t want to do it, because I don’t want to feel like I’m giving in, but you hear about bomb this and terrorist plot that and it’s scary,” Katz said.
Yagudayev allegedly made the first call at about 5:44 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Union Turnpike station, at which time he was caught on the surveillance tape there, the DA said. The defendant then allegedly placed the second call at about 5:57 p.m. from a pay phone inside the Roosevelt Avenue stop, according to Brown.
Yagudayev was arrested about a month after the incident, and he has been charged with reckless endangerment, falsely reporting an incident, making a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment, the DA said.
Western Queens residents also had a scare when a suspicious package was found at the 71st Street-Continental Avenue subway stop earlier this month, according to police. A black suitcase was left at the bottom of the staircase at the station a little after 10 a.m. Oct. 5, police said.
Several Queens residents have been entangled in a plot to bomb subway stations in the city on or around Sept. 11, 2009. Most recently, federal prosecutors said the father of admitted bombing plotter Najibullah Zazi would likely be heading for trial on charges he disposed of his son’s bomb-making materials.
Mohammed Zazi, 54, a former Flushing resident, was arrested earlier this month at his current home in Colorado and charged with conspiring with others to get rid of chemicals, containers, masks and other items tied to the plot by his son, who lived in Flushing, and others to bomb city stations, federal prosecutors said.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.