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Standoff Suspect in Custody After Hoax Bomb Is Tossed Through Open Window of Police Vehicle

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"I look around, saw a lot of kids, a lot of young people. We both look at each other and I go, 'We're going to go, but I'm not going to have anyone else go with us.'"

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NEW YORK (AP) — A man suspected of tossing a hoax bomb through the open window of a police vehicle in Times Square was taken into custody Thursday after an overnight standoff in Columbus Circle, the New York Police Department said.

Police block off several streets near Columbus Circle, Thursday, July 21, 2016, in New York. Police negotiators are trying to talk to a man barricaded inside a vehicle in Manhattan, where he's suspected of tossing a hoax bomb, authorities said. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The episode began when a person in a passing vehicle tossed a cylindrical object into the police van late Wednesday, said Chief of Department James O'Neill. The driver of the van sped to a less crowded neighborhood, and he and his partner notified the bomb squad.

In this photo provided by the New York Police Department, a police robot sits next to a suspect's vehicle following a standoff, Thursday, July 21, 2016 at Columbus Circle in New York. A man suspected of tossing a hoax bomb through the open window of a police vehicle was taken into custody after an overnight standoff, the New York Police Department said Thursday. The standoff ended after police sent the robot to check out the vehicle because they didn't know what was inside it. (New York Police Department via AP )

"These two officers are heroes of the NYPD, heroes of New York City," Police Commissioner William Bratton tweeted.

Sgt. Hameed Armani, who was driving the van, said he made a quick decision when the object came through the window.

"I look around, saw a lot of kids, a lot of young people," Armani said at a news briefing. "We both look at each other and I go, 'We're going to go, but I'm not going to have anyone else go with us.'"

His partner, Officer Peter Cybulski, said he was "nervous" as Armani drove to a less crowded spot.

The object turned out to include a candle and a harmless electrical component. A police photo showed them displayed beside foil and white cloth.

In this photo provided by the New York Police Department, a hoax bomb that was thrown into a patrol car on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, is displayed near Columbus Circle in New York. A man suspected of tossing the hoax bomb through the open window of a police vehicle in Times Square was taken into custody after an overnight standoff, the New York Police Department said Thursday. (NYPD via AP)

Officers spotted the suspect's SUV at around 2 a.m. Thursday at Columbus Circle and pulled it over.

The suspect "rolls up the window, puts his hands towards the glove compartment and says that he wants to die and has a bomb strapped to his vest," said Bill Aubry, chief of Manhattan detectives.

Aubry said the man put on a red helmet and continued to act erratically.

SWAT officers closed in.

Surrounding streets were closed and subway trains bypassed the area, a traffic circle at the southwest corner of Central Park that is home to the Time Warner Center and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

Police direct pedestrians away from Columbus Circle, Thursday, July 21, 2016, in New York. Police negotiators are trying to talk to a man barricaded inside a vehicle in Manhattan, where he's suspected of tossing a hoax bomb, authorities said. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The standoff ended around 8 a.m. after police sent a robot to check out the man's SUV because they didn't know what was inside it.

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