Paragraphs 15 & 16 read: "The student later admitted to investigators with the Joint Terrorism Task Force that he was depressed and wanted to end his own life – not anyone else's."
"It was not immediately clear what troubled the student, but a police source said he had been on medication."
Pace University student poses as subway track worker, sparks terror scare in cyanide suicide try
By Rocco Parascandola
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Originally Published:Friday, April 30th 2010, 12:15 PM
Updated: Friday, April 30th 2010, 9:17 PM
A depressed Pace student plotted a suicide attempted that was mistaken for a terror scare in this tunnel connecting the Bowling Green station in Manhattan to the Borough Hall station in Brooklyn.
A man posing as a subway track worker triggered a terror scare Friday – but he turned out to be a despondent college student who wanted to kill himself with sodium cyanide, police said.
Aaron Fetto, a 20-year-old Pace University sophomore, told cops he wanted to find a discreet alcove underground, mix the cyanide tablets with water and ingest the mixture.
"He did not want to be found," said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman. "He had no ID on him. He was looking for some isolated place in the system."
The cyanide tablets, which are used to clean jewelry and were purchased from a jewelry supply store, can create toxic fumes when heated.
The suspect had five flares in his backpack – along with two liters of water and a quart can of the cyanide tablets, cops said. But police said Fetto decided against heating the poison because he feared the fumes would paralyze him and not kill him.
"This was not a terrorist plot," Browne said. "We believe it was part of a plan for an individual to kill himself alone."
Alert NYC Transit employees picking up garbage from a work train spotted Fetto at 5:30 a.m. in the tunnel connecting the Borough Hall station in Brooklyn and the Bowling Green station in lower Manhattan on the No. 4/5 line.
Fetto was dressed as a track worker – wearing a hard hat, reflective vest and yellow, knee-high boots. He had entered the system at the Fulton St. station, climbed down to the tracks and headed south.
Fetto was in an area where no work was being done and had no work identification on him, cops said.
"They realized that he was acting suspiciously," said Police Chief Raymond Kelly. "They got him on the train."
The crew headed to the Bowling Green station, where the NYPD has a permanent post as part of its counterterrorism efforts.
Fetto was detained for questioning, and police found the cyanide while searching his backpack.
The cyanide can was rushed to a transit police facility on Canal St., where police and investigators with a mobile Department of Environmental Protection lab donned Tyvec suits and opened the can, Browne said.
The student later admitted to investigators with the Joint Terrorism Task Force that he was depressed and wanted to end his own life – not anyone else's.
It was not immediately clear what troubled the student, but a police source said he had been on medication.
Fetto was charged with trespassing and is expected to undergo a psychiatric observation.
Tom Torrelo, a Pace spokesman, said the student, who majors in political science, was on the Dean's List in the fall of 2008. He is from New Hampshire and ran track in high school. His family could not be reached for comment.