Small device detonated in Midtown

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Police remain outside a small theater in Midtown, where an explosive device was set off early Tuesday morning.

The theater is on West 29th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Studio Dante is owned by former Sopranos star Michael Imperioli and his wife.

But police say it may not have been the intended target.

Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleischer has details.

Imperioli and his wife were at the scene this morning. They were visibly concerned, as police try to determine why someone would have planted the explosive.

Outside was the visible damage, broken tiles and bent metal from an explosive device placed outside Studio Dante.

"It was like a huge, huge loud noise," neighbor Alan Simonwitz said. "I didn't know what what it was. I thought maybe it was a car that backfired. I looked out the window and saw the bomb squads and everything. It was crazy."

Patrol officers responded immediately and did not see anyone running from the scene. They say they did find the remnants of the device, which fortunately blew out across the sidewalk on West 29th Street, damaging a minivan at the curb. Authorities believe the device, measuring about four inches, was a pipe bomb.

"Very, very loud bang," a neighbor said. "It sound like, I wouldn't really know how to describe it. It wasn't like a cherry bomb, it was just like something metallic, almost like a pipe bomb blowing up."

Police say they don't know if Imperioli's small theater was the target. Imperioli is best known for playing the role of Tony Soprano's nephew is the popular HBO television series.

He and his wife Victoria created the theater to showcase progressive new plays. The disturbing explosion prompted comments from Mayor Bloomberg.

"We are taking this and every act of violence extremely seriously, and we'll take every step to identify and apprehend whoever set this explosive device off," he said.

Police are checking security cameras in the area in the hopes that one of those might have caught someone planting the device.

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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