Picnicking boyfriend sparks museum bomb scare
(NY POST) A funky-looking BMW caused a bomb scare on the Upper West Side today after the driver covered the black-and-white vehicle with a tarp and left the engine running while he picnicked with his girlfriend.
An alert passer-by called police after noticing that the vehicle — an SUV which hasn’t been released on the general market yet — was parked directly in front of the main entrance to the Museum of Natural History on Central Park West.
For several hours, CPW between West 77th and West 81st streets was closed as the NYPD bomb squad smashed the rear and side passenger windows of the vehicle — covered with small black-and-white swirls — to search it. The car’s interior also was covered with tarps.
At one point, police discussed evacuating the museum, but they ditched that plan after determining the vehicle didn’t pose any threat.
Tourists alternately took snapshots of the cops as they worked and actor Michael Douglas, who was in the crowd.
Police sources identified the driver as Martin Birkmann, a BMW brand manager and test driver. The vehicle, which had New Jersey dealer plates, appeared to be a new version of the BMW X6.
Birkmann apparently didn’t press the correct button on his key fob to remotely turn off the engine to his car, and it runs so silently that he didn’t even notice it was still on when he left, a source said.
He then enjoyed a picnic for several hours in Central Park with his girlfriend.
Birkmann, speaking with a thick German accent, later declined comment to The Post.
Police issued him a summons for idling his vehicle.
Police have reported an uptick in suspicious packages and other suspected bombs in the wake of the failed May 1 Times Square car bomb