Man Arrested After Downtown Bomb Scare

By Ralph Iannotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man who abandoned a car at the construction site of the Gateway Center T station in downtown Pittsburgh Friday afternoon is in custody.

Nowell Howie, 34, is facing charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Howie drove his car into the new T station construction site in the Golden Triangle and walked away.

Port Authority Police said he got out of his car, knelt down, kissed the ground and told a witness no one should go near his car.

His hands were stretched toward the sky and he said God told him to do this in the name of the Lord.

Before he was taken into custody near Market Square about 45 minutes after the abandoned his car, he started giving away $20 bills, telling people not to spend the money, but to give it to those [people] they love.

A bomb squad was quickly called in to check out the vehicle, but no explosives were found. All pedestrian and vehicle traffic was shut down and secured in the area as the incident unfolded.

One Howie’s neighbors on Harker Street in the West End said he was shocked by his behavior.

Brian Walzer described Howie as quiet, and friendly.

“I guess you don’t really know people as good as you think you do,” he said.

  • Him

    Going to blow up more pasta i hope, wow this just in worker parked in wrong location heard the food truck got out of the car took off to get some grub. This brings us to this. This is just like when bags/breifcase are left at the bus stops, yeah dont get tired of holing your bag and place it down until the bus comes.. Come on people we can not let them win live your life.

    • me

      so are you saying that it was just an accidental scare! dont post unless you know about the situation idiot!! my nephew works on that job and the dude was crazy suicidal. was def needed to be taken care of properly and was!! wasnt fear it was taking care of a situation properly!! not a worker parked and going to eat!! man your an idiot!!

  • One small voice

    Wonder if they blew up the car like the microwave.

    • guest

      Don’t forget the toddler’s backpack.

  • Jane

    Take note for future reference:
    Deaf is spelled d-e-a-f.
    The spelling of the contraction you are is spelled y-o-u-‘-r-e.

    Don’t call people idiots unless you are above idiocy yourself.

    • Downtown employee

      Jane, he/she meant “def” as in definetly, not deaf. Why would he/she say deaf? Plus, dont you think its obnoxious to be pointing out spelling errors when there is a bigger story here? I totally agree with the poster “Me.” I saw this whole event and Im so glad it was handled so vigilently. The Pittsburgh Emergency Departments should be commended. This man sounds like a real sicko. I dont appreciate the jokes about it. Im sure “Me” doesnt eitehr when loved one could have been in serious trouble had this suspect been actually a threat.

    • patty

      def is short for definitely…so why don’t you learn the lingo before you go assuming.

  • James

    seems like he was hoaxing to try to get some kind of mental disability. A real terrorist would hit the crowds at 4:30
    PM with an explosives vest, and a follow car bomb on timer 20 minutes later to kill emergency workers.
    Plus, they do not warn people to leave the area. That’s a tactic to get someone to call the police, in case they didn’t notice the ground kissing deal. Bet me he goes to trail, and tries to get declared incompetent to stand trial.

    • Dr. Oscar

      James – you sound very experienced; how did it all work out for you?

  • Dude

    Aw, Pittsburgh. A town where the women have little brains, and less teeth.

    • spouse

      Wow, Dude, that’s rough….

    • Cole

      “Dude”, please explain your comment? We all would love to hear this.

  • Knish

    Dude is jealous of the Pittsburgh women, and therefore, a hater since he is a hoopie and only dates women in his family!

  • Hoss

    Ignore the Dude. He’s from Baltimore, heroin capitol of the east coast.

  • Mayor West

    Did any one stop and think this guy was so happy he found a free parking place in downtown pittsburgh and just got out and prayed cause he was so lucky?

    • borland

      i agree

  • Mack daddy

    Maybe this guy was one of the thousands of anirchists that invaded the city for the g20.

  • Doofus

    the last time the bomb squad was called out they blew up a can of Ravioli

  • A Real Democrat

    Umm …It’s comparable to:
    Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater.

    • Real democrat

      Defender, your republican party had it’s 5 min of glory. Now everyone will forget about the tea party and obama will get re elected.

    • Denfender of the Truth

      Ahem! “True democrat”,

      Thanks for sharing dear….

      How’s that Tea Bag Party working out for you?

    • True democrat

      You have to be a brainless republican. No democrat would talk like you do. Don’t use a democratic name to push your right wing ideas on us. Real democrats are not conservative fools

    • A Real Democrat

      Liberal4life wrote:
      “Wow now parking illegally and praying is comparable to shouting fire in a theatre”

      You do not want to see the alleged facts as reported in the story you’re replying to.
      1)”a man in a gray Honda pulled into the construction site”
      Pulling into a restricted area of a construction site. This is NOT like parking illegally in front of fire hydrant.

      2)”He allegedly got out of the car, kissed the ground, said a prayer and told people to leave the area”

      If you do not see the above and the comparison to “Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater.”
      Then I’m not sure what logic you follow . . .

  • jerko

    can marty moron ever read a story without saying, meanwhile?

  • EW!

    are you guys serious? are you seriously wondering why this guy was arrested and making it a freedom issue? i am speechless and SO glad this guy is off the street. he didnt just PARK his car and pray in public. He put his car in the dead center of a construction site that you arn’t even allowed to walk through and said not one but SEVERAL comments indicating the public was in danger. also, the praying wasnt exactly religious expression in this case. im in shock that the conversation even went this direction – I hope you really dont live in Pittsburgh. ps – hi marty!!!!

    • Ew!

      Actually no, Im not a goverment employee at all but my office overlooks the construction site and I saw the entire event. I do love this city though, I live and work in it. If you dont think in this day and age that you are in danger from someone who has the nerve do what he did, you are blind. Parking the car and telling the construction workers not to go near it – that wouldnt make you think something dangerous was up? Also, no one cares what party you support, get over yourself.

  • state of panic

    its official terrorists have won

    we are now afraid of anyone and anything

    we have gone from home of the free and the brave to the home of the paranoid and delusional

    were a buncha punxatawney phils afraid of our own shadow

    • Jeff

      State of Panic. The only paranoid and delusional person was the nut that caused the incident.

      A free society is an armed society.

  • No Denardo

    The news media has us afraid of snow!!!!!

  • Jim

    Hey, Liberal 4 life. He did something wrong, and was charged appropriately with the crime (s) TITLE 18 CRIMES CODE TRESPASSING
    (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
    not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in
    any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
    (i) actual communication to the actor;
    (ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or
    reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;
    (iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed
    to exclude intruders;

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