If the shoe fits: Alleged Union Square shooter cuffed moments after Chelsea bank heist

Cops are lucky this alleged Manhattan robber and shooter didn’t bother changing his wardrobe. 

Eagle-eyed cops cuffed the alleged thief Tuesday who shot a 42-year-old man on a subway train during a botched Union Square stickup Monday after the officers noticed the suspect wearing the same clothes and shoes during a bank heist in Chelsea earlier in the day. 

Police received a report of a bank robbery at 3:37 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Chase bank located on 7th Avenue and 27th Street.  The suspect, not identified as of press time Tuesday evenign, was reported to have brandished a gun and demanded an undisclosed amount of money from a teller.

When detectives heard the description, law enforcement sources said, they realized it matched the suspect in the Union Square shooting. With timely, accurate intelligence and rapid deployment, NYPD officials say they were able to utilize effective tactics to relentlessly search for the suspect. 

“Investigators radioed the subject’s description to responding officers and directed them to canvas nearby train stations. Officers from Transit District 4 canvassed the Union Square Station and held a southbound R train,” Chief of Transit Kathleen O’Reilly said during a press conference with arresting officers and NYPD officials on Tuesday afternoon. 

Chief of Transit Kathleen O’Reilly, NYPD officials, and arresting officers showcase the firearms found on the suspect. Photo by Dean Moses
Three loaded firearms were found. Photo by Dean Moses

One of the responding cops, Officer Lenox Samerson, said she deduced that from the direction of the bandit’s most previous escape on Union Square that he may be riding a southbound train. Following her hunch and training, she requested that the R train conductor keep the train held at Union Square stop as officers searched the carriages. 

“I deduced that based on yesterday’s report, he exited through the West section of Union Square, and the incident occurred on the west side,” Samerson said. “We grabbed the next train that pulled into the station, which was the Southbound ‘R’ train.” 

Samerson said the suspect was found in the last train car, facing the exact area of the park where he exited after yesterday’s incident. 

“He was identified, based on what the chief said, with the shoes, and we stopped him without any incident,” Samerson said. 

Arresting Officer Lenox Samerson used her quick thinking to deduce where the suspect may be headed. Photo by Dean Moses

The suspect had in his possession three loaded firearms nestled between a mound of $100 bills, Chief O’Reilly said. 

The individual is also being investigated for holding up a bodega on Sunday, in addition to another bank robbery. His name, age, and place of residence has yet to be released. 

The suspect emerges from transit district 4 in handcuffs. Photo by Dean Moses

O’Reilly shared that police are patrolling the subways, with an additional 1,000 officers to be deployed into transit each and every day. 

“Well, it’s disturbing to say the least that to see this many firearms out on the streets on our subways. But I can assure you my cops, transit officers, are deployed in the right places at the right time. And we’re doing everything humanly possible to keep them [riders] safe,” Chief O’Reilly said. 

The suspect is led away from Union Square in handcuffs. Photo by Dean Moses