By AHMED JALLOW
The final witness on the Chelsea bomber trial gave a tearful account on Thursday as prosecutors in their closing argument said the bomber intended “to cause as much death and devastation as possible.”
Tsitsi Meritt describes her ordeal in the Manhattan Federal Court about that Saturday night on West 23rd Street as she was waiting at a red light when a bomb, allegedly set up by Ahmad Rahimi, 29, detonated and shattered the window of the car she was riding in.
Meritt, burst into tears as prosecutors showed jurors a video of the white Toyota Prius that Meritt, her son and a friend were in last year when the bomb went off causing the car to “jump” and shake.
“We were waiting at the traffic light then we heard a loud sound. We heard people running and screaming,” she said. “The back seat windows shattered onto [my son], some rear view mirror damaged. We didn’t really know what it was,” she recalled.
Meritt said she sought help for her son but no one came to their rescue until emergency responders arrived at the scene and rushed them to the hospital.
“I was going back and forth just trying to get somebody to help my son,” she said. “I picked him and at some point and emergency responder took him from me.”
In his closing argument that afternoon, assistant prosecutor Emil Bove said: “He [ the defendant] wanted to maximize the death, the devastation and the destruction, caused by the bombing.”
Bove, in the beginning of his three-hour argument, asked the jury “Who did these things?” and walked behind Rahimi’s chair pointing at him “this man did these things,” he yelled. “The defendant, Ahmad Rahimi conducted these bombings… with evil in his heart.”
The tense moment was broken off when Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Berman asked Bove to move away from Rahimi and return to the dais.
Rahimi is charged with eight counts in Manhattan Federal Court for his alleged Sept. 17, 2016, bombing on West 23rd Street that injured 30 people and for also placing a bomb which failed to explode few blocks away on West 27 Street that same evening.
The defense was set to give its closing argument on Friday.