A kink emerges in the tidy "hero vendor" storyline of yesterday's Times Square bomb incident. Three different people are being reported as the eagle-eyed vendor who notified police about the smoking SUV and saved thousands of tourists from being exploded.
Earlier, we wrote about the man who's described as the big hero by most media outlets: T-shirt vendor and Vietnam vet Lance Orton. But now the Times of London reports that the first to notice the smoking SUV was a Senegalese immigrant named Aliou Niasse, who sells framed pictures. Niasse told the Times:
I thought I should call 911, but my English is not very good and I had no credit left on my phone, so I walked over to Lance, who has the T-shirt stall next to mine, and told him. He said we shouldn't call 911. Immediately he alerted a police officer near by.
So, Niasse saved the day via Lance Orton, but it's Orton who gets all the credit. (Which, judging from his grumpy comments to the press, he would be happy without.)
Update:A third man might in fact be the Hero Vendor of Times Square. His name is Duane Jackson. According to the NJ Star-Ledger he sells sunglasses, flags and pocketbooks. Here he is on NBC Nightly news:
Over at AnimalNY, they blame jingoism for the American press favoring Orton (and now Jackson) over Niasse: "I guess it makes more sense for American media to have an American hero." But maybe the Times and the Journal are just anti framed-picture? (via Animal New York)