Man wanted in hoax device incident at Queens Place Mall surrenders to police

ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- The man authorities accuse of leaving a hoax device in a stolen Tesla parked outside Queens Center Mall has surrendered to police.

Louis Shenker, 22, surrendered at 3 a.m. Tuesday in Brooklyn after calling 911.

He is charged with false bomb, criminal possession of stolen property and abandonment of an animal.

A second man who was with Shenker they were initially approached by police at the mall Monday is still being sought. He is a California resident.

Shenker has been on NYPD and federal law enforcement radar after committing acts of harassment and general so-called right-wing mischief in New York City. He had apparently discussed traveling to Georgia for Tuesday's Senate primary.

He and an unknown man were first spotted in the Queens Place Mall parking garage by police officers at around 5 a.m. Monday. They allegedly told the officers their car, a Tesla with Nevada license plates that turned out to be stolen, broke down and were waiting for help. The officers left.

Police returned several hours later after a 911 call that the car was blocking a circular ramp in the garage and was generally suspicious. By that point the car had been abandoned, although a husky dog was in the back seat.

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The windows were blocked by cardboard, a butane canister with wires and cords on the trunk. While police did not believe the canister was explosive active device, they evacuated the immediate area and waited for the bomb squad to properly identify it as not a threat.

A Black Lives Matter sign was found on the canister, along with other signs in the car. Police also recovered a computer and random food.

"The bomb squad goes into a set of procedures called render safe procedures, where they don protective equipment and assess what appeared to be a possible explosive device," said John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureaus. "That is a laborious and meticulous process that takes some time, until they were able to clear this vehicle and determine that it was not an explosive device."

Shenker has become a known dissenter at police brutality demonstrations. He allegedly threatened to kidnap Mayor de Blasio in a citizen's arrest during the Jewish holiday last month, a plot that never materialized.

He was arrested last month after allegedly setting a poster of George Floyd on fire at Carl Schurz Park near Gracie Mansion. He also apparently antagonized Black Lives Matter protesters by displacing their long time memorial there.

FBI agents interviewed him last month after he allegedly made threats at a protest supporting Macs Public House on Staten Island.

His Instagram page is down and before his Twitter account was suspended, he used it to post conspiracy theories with the hashtag #stopthesteal.

Shenker also had a podcast called "The Minuteman" for extreme right-wing views.

His red MAGA hat was pulled off his head while protesting an anti-Trump protest at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was a student in 2018.

He and was later expelled from UMass Amherst, garnering him a profile in American Spectator.

Shenker also snuck into a Democratic debate in South Carolina in 2016 and wrote about it.
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