What Was the Big Security Incident on the FDR on Sunday Afternoon?


The security incident started at around 4:00 on Sunday afternoon. Witnesses reported black vans with red lights flashing as they “swept” Main street south of the Tram. In their haste, one-way traffic rules were ignored. “Probably Secret Service,” one Roosevelt Islander thought. The President was in town… and then, the emergency vehicles began filling a five-block stretch of the FDR Drive.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The stretch of highway affected by the security incident covers a conspicuously open area from 59th Street to 63rd. On either side, the roadway is less visible as it hides under upscale gardens, schools and hospitals.

Not just FDNY and NYPD vehicles strung along the highway, but also boats from both departments headed up along the shoreline under the East River Roundabout.

Rescuers went ashore and formed a line under the structure, ready to act.

“It’ll be on New York 1,” someone speculated, but it wasn’t. And RIOC’s crack Communications Team never whispered a word as black cars rushed down Main Street, before or after.

And the Public Safety Department? Also silent as well as invisible.

What Was the Security Incident?

We don’t have enough information to report with 100% confidence, but since President Biden was in town, rallying for Governor Hochul, the connection is likely. Former President Bill Clinton, who also gets Secret Service protection, was in town for the same reason.

A command helicopter circled overhead.

But the sheer size of the security incident suggests something larger. Maybe a viable threat was discovered in surveillance?

With dozens of security vehicles on hand, lights flashing, it was at least a show of force.

Shortly after the command helicopter arrived and a black car was escorted north along the FDR, the security incident melted with FDNY and NYPD removing their boats from the river and their trucks from the highway.

By 5:00, it was over but not our curiosity.

There’s far too much secrecy in government activities today on every level, but you’d think a minimal notice was fair to expect. Without it, all the public has is guessing.

When officials worry about misinformation soiling the news flow, they might consider the gaps left open for whatever crackpot wants to fill them.

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