MCAO News Releases

Posted on: July 28, 2017

County Attorney Declines Felony Prosecution of Man Suspected of Making Bomb Threat at the Airport

PHOENIX— The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has completed a review of a case submitted by the Phoenix Police Department that led to the evacuation of the Sky Harbor Airport earlier this month.

“After thoroughly reviewing the information provided by investigators and carefully assessing the context within which these events took place, we have determined there is no reasonable likelihood of proving the required elements of a felony hoax offense beyond a reasonable doubt,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Nevertheless, it is important to note that all officials, airline and law enforcement, treated the situation with the appropriate degree of seriousness and professionalism,” Montgomery added.

On July 7, 2017 a ticketed passenger was checking a bag for his flight and according to the ticketing agent posed a question to the effect of ‘have you ever had a bomb on your plane?’ The agent was concerned the man was indicating his bag may be a threat. The agent immediately notified a supervisor who removed the bag from the area and notified the Transportation Security Administration of the incident. As a precaution and to ensure public safety,  a portion of terminal four at the airport was evacuated for a short time until the area was deemed safe.

Investigators from the Phoenix Police Department interviewed the passenger about his comments. He denied making any claim or comments about a bomb. No other witnesses heard the passenger make the comments and no explosives were located at the airport.

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