Chelsea bomb vic in tears on stand

New York Post - - NEWS - By PRISCILLA DeGREGORY

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.

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