New York Comic Con finished this afternoon (Sunday) as police dealt with a suspicious package near the main entrance to the Javits Center at W35th Street and 11th Avenue.
Police on the scene just before 4:15pm this afternoon ordered a “Full freeze on 11th Avenue from W34th to W38th. No vehicles and no pedestrians. Divert everybody out.”
All available units from NYPD’s 10th Precinct, which covers the southwest area of Hell’s Kitchen, were ordered to the scene. Units from NYPD’s Bomb Squad and Counter Terrorism units were visible on 11th Avenue and the surrounding streets.
Comic Con was just due to finish its third and final day at 5pm. Crowds left the convention center in an orderly fashion below W34th Street and from the northern exits of the venue, avoiding the main entrance.
The four-day Comic Con show is the biggest comic and pop culture event on the East Coast. It’s a geek party that includes opportunities from meeting celebrities to surprise appearances, to comic creators from every corner of the globe to the top anime, cosplay and gaming stars.
On Friday, Deadline reported that NYPD and event organizers had increased security for the event in response to ex-Hamas leader Khaled Mashal’s call for a “day of jihad.” Armed police officers were stationed at the entrance, a sight not seen on the first day of the conference, and sheriffs inspected auditoriums.
UPDATE: NYPD reported yesterday evening that the suspicious package was found to be “personal items, not hazardous”. Vendors reported that there was little disruption on the show floor. And by load out at 5:30pm, 11th Avenue had reopened and exhibitors were able to pull their vehicles along the front staging area to hand carry their stock out as usual.