After a brief appearance in federal court on Thursday, Frank R. James, a man accused of donating a gas mask, dropping a smoke bomb and firing on a crowded subway train in Brooklyn, will be held in federal custody.
He was sentenced to life in prison, although the judge did not rule on his bail.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Winnick, James, 62, who was arrested Wednesday after being seen walking through the eastern village and possibly calling police, shocked the entire city.
“The defendants, terribly, fired on passengers on a crowded subway train, disrupting their morning commute in a way that the city has not seen in more than 20 years,” he said. “The attack was premeditated, it was carefully planned and it caused panic among the victims and our entire city. The mere presence of the accused outside federal custody presents a serious risk to the community and he should be held awaiting trial. “
For now, the judge agrees and denies James bail.
“The allegations speak for themselves,” he said.
Mia Eisner-Greenberg, James’s court-appointed lawyer, agreed to keep him without bail for the time being, but said he could apply for bail later.
Federal prosecutors in a court filing described the shots as intentional and “completely premeditated,” claiming that James wore a tight hat and construction worker-style jacket in disguise and then dropped them after a gunfight to avoid identification.
Prosecutors say James had the ability to carry out future attacks because he had ammunition and other gun-related products in a storage unit in Philadelphia.
While James’ long arrest record may seem “unforgettable”, they believe it paints a picture of “a person with a tendency to deny authority and a person who is unable or unwilling to comply with the law.”
Prosecutors called him a “serious and ongoing threat to society.”
Eisner-Greenberg also requested a psychiatric examination for his client, noting that he had pain in his legs. The lawyers agreed to a temporary restraining order pending future bail applications.
During the hearing, James said only a few words.
Asked if he understood his rights, he said yes. Asked if he had seen the complaint, he said, “Yes, I have.” Asked if he understood the charge, he said yes.
According to NYPD Commissioner Kichant Sewell, visitors to St. Mark’s Place and First Avenue noticed James, and one of the crime stopper’s calls claimed to be a suspect.
James phoned the NYPD and told them he was the person they were looking for and according to police sources he wanted to introduce himself.
“I think you’re looking for me,” the caller said. “I’m looking at my pictures in all the news and I’ll be around this McDonald’s.”
He was arrested without any incident after searching the area.
“My colleague from New York, we’ve got him,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “We got him.”
James has been charged under a federal law that outlaws terrorism and other acts of violence on public transport. He is also accused of violating state lines by the federal government.
“We hope that this arrest will bring some relief to the victims and the people of New York City,” said Sewell. “We have used every means at our disposal to gather and process significant evidence that directly linked Mr James to the shooting. We were able to quickly shrink his earth. He had nowhere to run. “
Officials say the investigation is still ongoing, and those with information should contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA Spanish (74782).
If convicted of the attack, which resulted in at least 29 people being shot or injured, James faces a life sentence in prison, which has already shaken a community shaken by the significant escalation of violence.
You read: “You’re looking for me”, “I see my picture in all the news” – NYC subway shooter Frank R. James