NEW YORK (AP) — A teenager who authorities say terrorized outdoor diners at a Manhattan eatery pleaded guilty Friday to carrying out a hoax bomb threat.
Malik Sanchez, 19, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 8.
In the plea, he admitted to making the threat at a restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood.
He posted to the internet a video on Feb. 13 that showed him loudly stating that a bomb was about to go off near a table where two women sat, authorities said in a release.
Prosecutors said Sanchez loudly said: “Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. Bomb detonation in two, in two minutes. I take you with me and I kill all you.”
Sanchez self-identifies as an “involuntary celibate” or “incel,” a mostly online group of individuals, primarily men, who believe society unjustly denies them sexual or romantic attention, prosecutors say.
At a court hearing in May, Judge Colleen McMahon released him to home confinement three weeks after his arrest, saying she had watched the video.
“The first thing I thought was, this is a kid who needs to be seeing a psychiatrist, this is somebody who needs mental health counseling,” McMahon said.
The charge he pleaded guilty to can result in a prison sentence of up to five years, but his lawyer said at the May hearing that it was more likely any prison sentence would be measured in months rather than years.
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