Maryland man arrested at his new job for bringing a fake grenade paperweight into World Trade Center
Christopher Oler, 24, of Maryland, brought a paperweight made to look like an inert hand grenade into World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Thursday, officials and sources said.
Port Authority police charged him with placing a fake bomb inside a bag knowing it could be construed as a real device, but prosecutors decided not to pursue a case against him.
Oler was in town to sign documents for a new job, a relative said. He was planning on driving back home afterward.
Screeners spotted the paperweight just after 9 a.m. when it passed through a north lobby luggage security x ray machine .
Authorities briefly locked down the area until the NYPD bomb squad gave the all-clear.
Asked why Oler, who was starting a new job in computer programming, was arrested, a police official said that when a crime is committed, officers have to make an arrest.
“You have no choice,” the official said.
Oler’s family in Maryland was not happy at his welcome in New York.
“How do you arrest someone for a paperweight?” one relative said to the Daily News. “This is really upsetting.”
Oler was sent to central booking rather than being given a desk appearance ticket to return to court at a later date.
The official said he was ordered to go through the system because he is from out-of-state.