Law enforcement source: Ex-Marine left bag containing assault rifle, ammo in Bronx park; freed on bail
A Mount Vernon man is out on bail after authorities say he walked into a Bronx park with a backpack containing an assault weapon and ammunition.
Prosecutors say Nicholas Bingman’s backpack, which contained an AR-15 assault rifle and ammunition, was left in the weeds at an entrance to Van Cortlandt Park at East 242nd Street and Van Cortlandt Park East.
According to the criminal complaint, Bingman was seen by a witness going into the park on June 2 just before 10 p.m. with the backpack and a baseball bat in hand. The complaint states the bag, which had Bingman's name on it, contained the rifle, two magazines and 48 live cartridges of .45 caliber ammo.
A law enforcement source says Bingman is an ex-Marine. He’s facing a slew of criminal charges since he is not licensed to possess that weapon or its ammunition.
Law enforcement sources also say troubling text messages were found on his phone including one telling him to "destroy all enemies."
The Bronx District Attorney's Office told News 12 that it asked for a $300,000 bail/bond to be set. Bingman was released Saturday after it was paid, according to the city Department of Correction's inmate database.
During Bingman's arraignment, prosecutors told the judge that this is an active investigation that could lead to additional more serious charges, which is why they requested a bail of that amount to be posted.
News 12 reached out to Bingman’s lawyer, Dorothy Kelly McDonald of the Legal Aid Society, for a response. News 12 also reached out to the FBI and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to see if this case is being investigated at the federal level.