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Yonkers safely celebrates St. Patrick's Day Parade one day after man arrested in alleged plot against mayor, police

Yonkers safely celebrates St. Patrick's Day after foiled threat
Yonkers safely celebrates St. Patrick's Day after foiled threat 02:06

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers stepped up security for its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade after authorities ay a threat against the event was foiled.

As CBS2's Leah Mishkin reported, there was a sense of relief Saturday morning after the man accused of threatening to kill police and the mayor was arrested. 

Ridon Kola faced a judge in federal court Friday after a multi-agency investigation discovered threats on social media. The FBI said the 32-year-old, who lives near the parade route, also sent a disturbing message to Yonkers police. 

"I will crucify Yonkers cops and their bosses all along McLean Ave., and it will be a horror scene," the message read in part.

Watch Leah Mishkin's report

Yonkers gearing up for St. Patrick's Day parade after police thwart alleged threat 01:58

Members of the FBI-NYPD joint terrorism task force intercepted the alleged threat and made the arrest ahead of the parade. 

"Most of the time, these things are unfounded. Most of the time, these things don't pan out, but we have to be vigilant and we have to be 100 percent," Mayor Mike Spano said.

Saturday, security was tight with law enforcement in full effect, both in uniform and undercover, as a sea of green washed through McLean Avenue.

"Excellent. Better than ever," one spectator said.

"It's like family," another said.

"It's great. We love it," another parade-goer said.

Families say the alleged threats of violence and support for radical Islamic extremism is frightening, and they're grateful law enforcement was able to prevent any potential chaos.

"A huge relief because that's one of my biggest fears now that I have kids," Mount Vernon resident Cristina Hartoularos said.

"My friends said, 'Be careful. Don't go.' I said, my grandchildren are half Irish, I'm gonna go," a Yonkers resident said.

People from far and wide came out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, including little Paddy, who was visiting from Ireland and showed off his own Irish dancing moves.

It was a wonderful celebration with people at ease.

"It's really the community coming together, so it's fantastic," Yonkers resident Brian Hunt said.

"This parade is getting bigger and bigger. The people are so friendly and nice," Yonkers resident Ather Adams said.

The mayor says more than 30,000 people attended the celebration, an event many families look forward to each year.

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