Homemade explosive found inside Majestic
By Kate Pastor
Police officers from the 50th Precinct and the bomb squad removed an explosive stashed inside a heating duct at the already notorious Majestic apartment building on Jan. 4.
According to Deputy Inspector Kevin Burke, commander of the 50th Precinct, officials found an inert grenade that could have been purchased in a hobby shop, but which contained explosive black powder and a fuse that could be used to ignite it.
Deputy Inspector Kevin Burke said it was located on the second floor of 3660 Waldo Ave., which because of a hill is one story below street level. The building was not evacuated, but the common area near where the superintendent has a shop was secured and a bomb-sniffing dog was sent in to search the rest of the building, which was cleared.
According to police, law enforcement officials received information about the weapon at 2 p.m. It was removed in a bomb-proof Kevlar bag by 4 p.m.
The search was the result of a joint investigation between the New York Police Department and another law enforcement agency, according to police sources. The tip was obtained as part of an ongoing investigation, which officials declined to discuss.
Deputy Inspector Burke said the weapon presented a real danger to the building’s residents.
“There’s potential that it could degrade over time, that it could become volatile,” he said following its removal from the building.
Building residents were enthralled with the scene, which brought police vehicles, fire trucks and unmarked black SUV’s to their doorstep, but they did not seem surprised.
The building has been in the news before for a range of sub-par conditions, including deteriorating infrastructure and alleged criminal activity, such as squatting, drugs and prostitution.
Most recently, on Aug. 29, police allegedly caught Majestic resident Nelson Polanco, 28, in front of the building with approximately 3,000 illegally obtained prescription drugs and more than $9,000 in cash before arresting him shortly after 1 a.m.