Downtown

Noxious odor leads to lockdown of two floors at Brooklyn Supreme Court

One person taken to hospital, two refused medical attention

March 12, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
More than eight fire trucks and other first responders rushed to the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term, just before noon on Monday after a letter was sent to the administrative judge that contained a noxious odor. One person was rushed to the hospital their identity is unknown except that it is not Hon. Lawrence Knipel. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Three people were exposed to a noxious odor and one had to be rushed to the hospital as a result after the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, received a letter on Monday that contained a white powder, court employees told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Court officials confirmed that a letter was delivered to the chambers of Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge for the courthouse. 

The letter contained a white powder and a noxious odor, a court employee told the Eagle, and the eighth and eleventh floors immediately went into lockdown. Justice Knipel was not in his chambers at the time. His secretary, Mary Griffith, was taken to the hospital as a precaution, one witness said. 

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The other two people exposed refused medical attention at the scene.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and NYPD were on the scene to secure samples for testing. After determining that the substance wasn’t harmful, the eighth and eleventh floors were cleared.

The letter was opened sometime in the morning and the courthouse itself was surrounded by at least eight firetrucks, three 84th Precinct patrol cars, and two ambulances by 12:03 p.m. The eighth and eleventh floors were reopened by approximately 3:00 p.m.


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