Thousands enjoy Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade amid heightened security
Thousands of revelers enjoyed Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Yonkers following the arrest of a man who had threatened the event, police and Mayor Mike Spano.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says on March 9, 32-year-old Yonkers resident Ridon Kola sent a message to the police on social media stating, “I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean Ave…It will be a scene Alahu Akbar…”
Three days later, authorities say he posted a photo of himself holding an axe accompanied by a statement written in Albanian reading, “Come on Judas I’m waiting for you."
Kola was arrested on Friday and charged with making threatening interstate communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Yonkers police say they are familiar with Kola, who has a history of making threats against them. They say his threats date back to Nov. 2021, when he posted to another message in Albanian to their social media site stating, “I am going to slaughter you little girls."
Authorities say while being questioned by police, Kola continued to insist that his threats would be carried out.
Despite the threats, Yonkers officials did not delay or cancel the 66th annual celebration on McLean Avenue. With the help of heightened security, thousands were able to safely enjoy the festivities.
“Our favorite part is just looking at all the people. Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said one Duchess County resident.
"It’s just a great celebration of Irish heritage in Yonkers,” said another attendee.