A new video released Tuesday shows terrified pedestrians running for their lives in the moments after last year's explosion on 23rd Street in Chelsea.
The 24-second clip, obtained from a security camera, was introduced by the government on the second day of the trial of Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who stands accused of planting bombs in New Jersey and New York City last September, including the one that injured 31 people on West 23rd Street. Within minutes of the trial's start on Monday, Rahimi had to be escorted out of the courtroom for causing a disruption.
Alleged Chelsea "bomber" Ahmad Rahimi was just forcibly removed from his trial after trying to make a speech before the jury
— Kaja Whitehouse (@kajawhitehouse) October 2, 2017
Reuters reports that the 29-year-old New Jersey resident stood and addressed the jurors as they entered the courtroom, and was promptly removed after refusing the judge's orders to sit down. He remained outside the room as Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley delivered his opening statement, telling the jury that Rahimi had made the Chelsea bomb with a pressure cooker and cellphone timer.
Permitted to return to the courtroom after the government's remarks, Rahimi reportedly told the judge that the federal government had kept him from seeing his wife and kids for nearly a year. "The whole year, I've waited to get this across," he told the judge, according to the Post. "I actually come out only to speak to you."
The rest of day one proceeded without any notable outbursts from the suspect. Eight victims were brought out by the prosecution, including one woman who nearly lost her vision in the explosion.
"I felt myself thrust upwards and forwards," testified Helena Ayeh, a longtime West 23rd Street resident, DNAinfo reports. "My glasses had stayed on… [but] all of a sudden, I realized I couldn’t see anything."
"I didn't feel pain—I just felt blood," Ayeh continued. "I said, ‘Please, tell me, is my eye still there?'"
A different victim, Aikeida Wilson, spoke about needing to have shards of metal removed from her chest and leg, and undergoing trauma therapy after the blast.
Testimony in the case continued on Tuesday, with the prosecution showing previously unreleased footage of the 23rd Street explosion. Other videos shared with the jury allegedly show Rahimi depositing a suitcase on 27th Street, which feds say contained a bomb that did not detonate.
A different video shows two men digging through the bag, removing the pressure cooker and making off with the suitcase. According to investigators, the men were responsible for inadvertently disabling the explosive.