Chelsea bomb vic in tears on stand
The final witness in the Chelsea bomber trial took the stand Thursday and tearfully recounted being stopped at a red light when the bomb detonated on West 23rd Street, shattering the windows of the car she was in.
Tsitsi Merritt began crying as the jury was shown a video of the white Toyota Prius her friend was driving, with Merritt and her 11-year-old son as passengers, when the bomb went off on Sept. 17, 2016.
Prosecutors say Ahmad Rahimi, 29, placed a series of bombs in Chelsea and in Seaside, NJ.
The video shows the car stopped at a light and its back window bursting out, while bystanders start running in panic as debris falls around them.
“We heard a loud sound and the car we were in jumped and was shaking — I relate it to an earthquake. We heard people running and screaming. The back seat windows shattered onto [my son],” Merritt said in Manhattan federal court.
She said her son and the driver were left dazed fol- lowing the explosion.
“[My friend] drove past the traffic light because when the explosion happened, she was in a daze. She was not responding to me. I said, ‘Get out of here!’ At Houston [Street], she stopped. I was telling my son, ‘You’re OK,’ ” Merritt said.
In dramatic 2¹/2-hour closing argument, assistant US attorney Emil Bove told jurors, “[Rahimi] built these bombs for months with guidance from terror organizations . . . It is nothing short of a miracle that no one died in this attack.”
Bove later added, “He wanted to maximize the death, devastation and destruction.”
The defense is expected to begin its closing arguments Friday morning.
AHMAD RAHIMI Accused bomber on trial.