By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Tuesday morning, more than 60 South Plains residents are home after being in the middle of the Times Square bomb scare.
Covenant Radiology assistant Paula De Larrosa left for a company trip to New York City with dozens of other Covenant employees Thursday night. All the employees with their friends and family were staying at the Marriott on Times Square and on Saturday, she caught something on camera she will never forget.
"We had just gotten come back from Ground Zero. We were just looking all over the city. Then we we're just sitting there in front of the hotel," said De Larrosa.
Without realizing what she was catching on video, De Larrosa says she heard three loud booms. "
"I thought it was gun shots, so when I heard that I saw all this crowd running where we were and they were just taking down tables and trash cans. I ran because I didn't want to get stomped," she said.
The video shows the crowd running right at De Larrosa. She quickly turned and began running with them. "I was scared. I didn't know what was going on. I thought maybe it was shooting," she said.
De Larrosa and her co-workers went to a nearby McDonalds and kept watching from the second floor. After a while police began pushing the crowd back and barricading streets.
"We had to evacuate two blocks. The officer said we had to go out of McDonalds farther away because it was a bomb," said De Larrosa.
She then said people began panicking and started running out of McDonalds, and that's when she lost her co-workers.
"I was just by myself wondering around. It was a frightening experience." Eventually she caught back up with her group and had to continue waiting for hours until police allowed them back into the hotel.
"I am so glad that everybody got back safe to Lubbock," said De Larrosa.
Also on that trip, Covenant Guest Services Gail Spivey was stuck in a crowd during the bomb scare.
"There were some really pushy people. You just had to trust that the people in charge were handling things, so I really wasn't afraid," said Spivey.
Spivey was a little farther from the action but said she spoke to Lance Orton, the street vendor that alerted police to the smoking SUV.
"I talked to him on Sunday. Very nice man, he and his partner were both Vietnam veterans. Very humble and he was just of the mind that when you see something funny, you just take action, and he says that's all he did, I just took some action," said Spivey.
Both women say even though their trip hit a speed bump, all the employees had a great time and would love to go back to New York.
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