2006_02_fultonstreet.jpgThere was an interview with Denfield Otto in the Daily News over the weekend; Otto was the transit cop who helped save people during a December 21, 1994 bombing on a 4 train at Fulton Street. We realized that we had forgotten about the 1994 blast's details, and it's just eerie: Edward Leary, unemployed and faced with various family medical bills, was carrying a homemade bomb in the 4 train in hopes of extorting the NYC Transit Authority. The bomb exploded prematurely, though, and police realized Leary was the culprit after he went to Brooklyn for medical treatment. We dug up this old USA Today story, which put the 1994 subway bombing up against the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the recent Unabomber attacks. For his defense, Leary said the combination of drugs he was on (Prozac, Effexor, Buspar) made him "unaware" of the consequences of bombing the train. Leary was found guilty and sentenced to 94 years in prison, though he's currently serving a 25-50 year sentence. Anyway, Otto had been traveling on the 4 train during the blast (he was headed to Transit Police chorus rehearsal!) and was able to get an extinguisher from a token booth. He told the Daily News, "I heard two bangs, the second louder than the first. The train filled with smoke, and I could see passengers on fire. I remember touching my chest and face. I was 10 feet away, but I wasn't on fire. I was lucky."

Leary had also planted a bomb on another subway car that exploded prematurely on December 15, 1994, injuring two teenagers in Harlem.