New York City Police Department

Press Release | No. 2007-065

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 065
Monday, December 31, 2007



New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Dedicates Police Headquarters Visitor’s Entrance to Retired Detectives Injured in a Terrorist Attack on One Police Plaza 25 Years Ago

For excerpts of the ceremony, see http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pr/videos.shtml

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today dedicated the Visitor’s Entrance of One Police Plaza to retired Detectives Rocco Pascarella, Salvatore Pastorella and Anthony Senft. The dedication of the Security Annex is to honor the three members for their bravery and heroism on New Years Eve in 1982 when they were injured in a terrorist attack targeting Police Headquarters and nearby government buildings.

“These three members of the New York City Police Department took their sworn oath to protect the public to incredible, heroic lengths. They put themselves directly in harm’s way to defeat a terrorist attack on the city,” Commissioner Kelly said. “The memorial plaque that will be installed at this site is a small, but tangible recognition of the tremendous debt we and all New Yorkers owe them.”

From 1974 through 1982, a group known as the F.A.L.N was one of several terrorist organizations who targeted New York City landmarks. During this period, F.A.L.N. claimed responsibility for 134 explosions.

Those attacks include a multiple-device plot that occurred twenty-five years ago today. On December 31, 1982, a bomb was detonated at 26 Federal Plaza, a neighboring building of One Police Plaza, as well as the New York headquarters for the F.B.I. Detective Pascarella, Detective Pastorella and Detective Senft were on duty in Lower Manhattan that night.

In response, then-Police Officer Pascarella conducted a security sweep of Police Headquarters and observed a discarded fast-food container on the ground by the North Entrance. As Officer Pascarella moved closer to investigate the box, it exploded. The force left Officer Pascarella blind in one eye and with permanent injuries to his left leg.

As part of the Department-wide response, two members of the Bomb Squad, Detective Pastorella and Detective Senft, came to Officer Pascarella’s aid. Despite his injuries and massive bleeding, Officer Pascarella explained to the two detectives how the bomb was disguised.

At 10 p.m., a little more than a half-hour from the initial explosion, a third device went off at the U.S. District Courthouse in Brooklyn sending reverberations into Manhattan. Detective Pastorella and Detective Senft received a call to investigate two additional suspicious packages in the immediate vicinity of One Police Plaza: one by the main entrance and another in St. Andrew’s Plaza.

Detective Pastorella and Detective Senft arrived at St. Andrews Plaza and cleared the area of civilians. Following protocol, the two detectives placed Kevlar blankets over the devices and put on their bomb suits. Just as Detective Pastorella and Detective Senft knelt to dismantle the first device, it exploded. Witnesses saw Detective Senft fly fifteen feet into the air. He was blinded in his right eye and broke his hip. Detective Pastorella was blinded in both eyes and lost the fingers of his right hand.

The three members received the Department’s highest honors along with Detective Frank DeCicco and then-Sergeant Charles Wells, who safely deactivated a fifth bomb.

The Visitor’s Entrance opened in September 2005. Previously, visitors were checked for identification at the gatehouse and had their bags screened inside One Police Plaza. Increased security protocols called for all bags to be screened outside of Headquarters.



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