October 31st, 2010
01:30 AM ET

Man arrested in Denver airport bomb scare

Authorities arrested a man at Denver International Airport after he said there was a bomb in his luggage, a United Airlines spokesman said.

The man was angry because he missed a connecting flight from Denver, Colorado, to Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, but his luggage was still on the plane, United Airlines spokesman Rahsaan Johnson told CNN.

"He was disruptive in the gate area and made inappropriate comments," Johnson said.

At that point the plane, which was still taxiing at the airport, was brought back to the gate, and airline employees removed the man's bag from the plane, Johnson said. The flight was delayed for an hour as authorities investigated.

The man is being charged with interfering with public transportation and will be taken to the Denver jail, according to Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Air travel
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. T.Wright

    Reminds me of the movie (Meet the Parents). "Bomb Bomb Bomb, BOMB,Bomb bomb bomb, BOMB. Its not like I have a bomb in my bag or anything"!!!

    October 31, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ha

      What if I was a bombardier? Huh? THEN what would you do?

      October 31, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Regular Flyer

      He should have said to them how do you know there is not a bomb in my luggage. With the high probability of theft from checked bags he was right to demand his bag back. In fact this is a classic example of the US not following its own rules. In the rest of the world the airline is REQUIRED to remove the bags of anyone who doesn't show up. He was just telling them to follow standard security policy.

      October 31, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jon

    Everybody is getting really pi++ed off about this airport stuff. Bin Laden has really won – big time.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Excellent point jon, one I have pointed out since about 9/13/01

      October 31, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Too many women leaving the security check point crying including my wife. Something called a "pat down" that looked like a sxxual assault to me.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      police state is here.. it's too bad that so many people are blind to it and have no idea what is really happening..

      October 31, 2010 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Police state arrived with George Bush's patriot act.

      October 31, 2010 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
    • A CNN Reader

      You're right... the goal of terrorism is to 1) kill as many as you can 2) disrupt the government 3) disrupt transportation 4) strike fear into the hearts of people so they are afraid of their own shadow 5) create chaos and confusion on every level. Seems to me like they are doing quite well on almost all counts... Unfortunately stopping it is a hard job when they dont show themselves in a uniform....

      October 31, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      My family and I fly on Wednesday. Go ahead and feel up my junk. If that stops us from flying into the side of a building, go to town. Grow up people, it's a small price to pay in the scheme of things. I'm sure most of our young men figting over seas would gladly put up with a little pat down if it meant they could come home to their families for Christmas. On the way to Florida this year I saw security pat down a 280lb woman and when she bent over they found a tricycle. Honestly people

      October 31, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny, everyone's reaction. Especially since even TEN YEARS before 9/11 and longer, were you to say you had a bomb, you'd get booted off of the flight and introduced to the police and feds.
      It's nothing new.
      In short, freedom of speech does NOT extend to freedom to make threats.

      October 31, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry from West Texas

      All of you who complain so much about airport security are the same ones who complain about everything. You are the ones who jump the lines, who are rude to flight attendants, who sit in the wrong seat. I've flown with all of you. You all have an exaggerated sense of self importance and indignation is your favorite emotion. Put a cork in it.

      October 31, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Kevin, tell your wife to grow up. If she doesn't like it, she can take a bus or a train or a car. I, a female, couldn't care less if they need to pat me down, put me in a full body scanner, or whatever as long as I know that it's preventing me from flying on a plane with some nutjob that does have explosives. Your wife, if she were an adult, should feel the same way. I think they should speed it up and have EVERYONE do the full body scanner. Who cares? We all know what an adult human body looks like, and we'll likely never see that airport security person again. Does it really matter in the long run if he knows where your rolls of fat are? Whiners.

      October 31, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BatCat

      @Jeff, [10/31, 6:23a]:

      USA Patriot Act, U.S. House passed 357–66, U.S. Senate passed 98–1, signed by President Bush with some fanfare, Oct. 2001.

      USA Patriot Act extended without 'reforms', voice vote in U.S. Senate (you aren't allowed to know who voted how), quietly signed on a Saturday by President Obama, Mar. 2010.

      ...read it and weep... a truly bipartisan effort...

      October 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georg

      What nonsense! The threads are real and legitimate heightened security. If you get so p***ed because you need to be at the airport earlier and searches are stricter you really have a problem. How can anyone seriously complain when there are very real threads?

      October 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sall

      not really.... we're still flying.

      October 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I don't know why some of you folks are blaming Bush or congratulating bin Laden over this. It was illegal to say "bomb" in an airport LONG before 9/11 or Bush was in office. Even if 9/11 had never happened, this man would have been arrested for what he did, it's been against the law to say "bomb" at an airport for quite some time. In the mid-90's I was at an airport security check-point when the TSA employee asked if she could search a man's backpack for something she saw on the x-ray and he (jokingly) said, "Sure, as long as you don't take my bomb away" He was kidding, a stupid joke for sure, but he was kidding. Three agents took him into custody, hand-cuffed and questioned him. This was about 6 yrs before 9/11. Stop the blame game folks, Bush did not create this state of mind for us.

      October 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • larry

      if you mean by disrupting our very lives then you are right the people who did this won. they are also making a lot of money selling fear, and everything we think we need to be safe. we need to wake up.

      October 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      I agree, the sad thing is so many people are defending these draconian measures that at best present a so-called "hard target" to terrorists.However it's undisputed they can still strike at airlines if they want to. As a American living in Europe, I can tell you the security is neither as harsh, nor the personnel as rude as what we have in the USA... not by a long-shot. In the end, we will have strip searches with body cavity explorations. The terrorist only need to launch one failed attempt for the knee-Jerks to impose new abuses to one's personal freedom. I'm sure the terrorist consider it a victory when people drive instead of flying when they realistically can. So all the lonely people loving the Feds copping a feel on their bods will eventually come to realize this is //not// the solution. We should start by profiling fliers. If you're Muslim no one is accusing you of anything but if you fit the high risk profile then realize it is for everyone's security if you are scrutinized a little more. When a certain race is prone to have a serious heath issue, they don't complain when the doc orders extra tests, same thing. Profiling serves a purpose when it targets known risk groups. PC or not! That's my opinion.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • connie

      I whole heartedly agree Jon. I was thinking the same thing. They have made us in the U.S. Pay big time for what the terrorists did. It seems to me also that they are still winning. When will they wake up and allow us to be free Americans again. People are sick and tired of all the stuff they are putting us through.

      October 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    Hard to decide who to side with, the person who apparently cannot act like an adult, or the ridiculiously ineffective but very sincere TSA.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. CurrentTopic

    Never yell, "Hi, Jack" at an airport

    October 31, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • agentxyz

      Paging Richard Head. Please go to the courtesy phone. Paging Dick Head.

      October 31, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Fallowt

      Or sing "Bidi Bom Bom"

      October 31, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. andy clunie

    and i just know someone is gonna cop out a mental defect defense... may be true (the guy obviously wasnt dealing with a full deck), but while in public we have a duty to our countrymen and ourselves to put safety first. being unaware while driving is the same thing as this guy – just brain dead. oblivious and taking everything for granted. meet out swift and beautiful justice man. which in this case the guy should go to a paddy room, or be publicly flogged. amen

    October 31, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kenny

    I flew just last week and saw an old friend when I boarded the flight. I waved but didn't speak to him and after we landed in DC and exited the plane he asked me if anything was wrong. I told him and askedd what made him think something was wrong. He complained that while I did acknowledge his presence, I never spoke to him. To that I responded with this question. What was I supposed to do on an air plane when I see you? I say "Hi Jack" and I go to jail. My friend smiled.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • DerrickAnthony

      I guess "Hello Jack" or "How are you jack" didn't come to mind at the time. This is what's wrong with America – We don't think, when we're supposed to, but talk way too much, about nothing we actually know.

      October 31, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Another thing missing is humor. Derrick, learn to recognize it...

      October 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Derrick, you have your shoved so far up your rear end it isn't even close to be funny.

      October 31, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • McDuck

      There was no humor to miss. It's tired and old. And already said in the comments.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sandra

    My last airline experience:

    We are getting ready to land and start descending when all of a sudden, the plane starts ascending spontaneously and at a pretty alarming speed. Everyone starts looking around worried; later on they say that it was because they had been told that there was another aircraft in our way! So we had to fly away from the airport, then turn around, and head back. I was supposed to have 40 minutes in between my first flight and my second flight, which according to the airlines it's "plenty" of time. So I rush over to my second gate (in Philadelphia) with only 5 minutes to spare only to find out that that my second plane is still at another airport (Washington DC) and they're not sure when they will be departing Washington DC because there's something wrong with one of the wheels. Grrrr!! Needless to say, I was about 6 hours late to my final destination. So yeah, airlines and airports, in general, are very unprofessional (this is not my only horror story).

    That being said, why would you make your experience worse by saying "bomb" on an airplane?
    Haha, now that reminds me of Ben Stiller. That was a great scene.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So because through the heroic efforts of your pilot you avoided a mid air crash, and through the good common sense of the airline they didnt send you a plane with a broken wheel, you think the airline is unprofessional???

      What is it with people these days? Spoiled impatient brats, with not an ounce of common sense or ability to see beyond their own little lives.

      October 31, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • DerrickAnthony

      MARK, I totally agree with you! These same people are the ones who expect everything in life to be perfect, but someone else should supply the "perfection", for them.

      October 31, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Doing your job, and peforming your duty is not heroic. The fact that the airplane has to take evasive course of action is the pilot/and the total system is irresponsible in the first place.
      The "flock of sheep" mentality has been sowed deep to the ment of this populace...
      I can't imagine your wife would think that you are a hero because you avoid a car accident that you are the driver with her in it. She would get on your driving case for stupidity – – see the parallel??

      October 31, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logan Jackson

      Did your last "horror" story involve luke-warm coffee, or maybe the flight attendants wouldn't let you relax while they were blabbering non-stop about the emergency exit locations, oxygen mask use procedures, or some other petty safety tip?


      The system is not "irresponsible" simply because the aircraft had to do a go-around on approach. Clearly you've never been in command of an aircraft.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • yacker01

      You must be new to flying. Things happen! Do I want to fly with a broken jet? Nope, I can wait. Didn't stop to read the DEPARTURE monitor before running to my next gate? Nope. I always do, gates and times change. Expect 40 minutes between flights is enough time? Nope. Even if the airline said so.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle T. ROlling

      I was stuck on the tarmac last week for 3 hours at JFK because the wheelchair on the plane had a broken handle. So, 150 people were delayed by over 3 hours because of this. Almost every time I've flown, something stupid like this has occurred and caused a delay.

      What amazes me is that so many mindless people sit by and deal with it. "It's just an inconvenience." Sorry sheep, but some of us have jobs to get to and can't afford a 3, 4, 6 or whatever hour delay. I strongly encourage you to take a long, hard look at the reputation of the airline industry in regard to safety and how they've skirted the regulations over money. Yet they'll delay 150 people over a broken wheelchair handle (FYI, there wasn't a single person on the plane requiring the wheelchair).

      So for those of you who think it's ok to allow this kind of poor management, it's no wonder you'll never run your own businesses successfully. It's blatantly obvious you know nothing about customer service or meeting deadlines. Screwing the customer isn't the way to the top. Stop being sheep.

      Mark, you're exactly the kind of sheep I'm talking about. Yeah, we're all "brats." We pay for a service and demand that service be fulfilled according to the terms and conditions of that sale. But we aren't allowed to complain when those terms aren't met? You're not very bright.

      October 31, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. linda

    Wow, i can't believe some of the comments on here. A hero? Tempest, Kevin you two are a prime example of what has gone completely wrong with this country. What the heck happened to personal reponsibility? Don't want to miss the flight, get your fat a$$ to the airport on time.

    Tim W makes the most sense. The same people that cry like babies in the night about how the TSA operates are going to be the same babies crying when god forbid they lose a loved one on a plane that did have a bomb that was missed.

    You bunch of whiny crybabies need to sack up and act like Americans.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      A true American would never give up his or her Liberties and Freedoms for "protection"..

      October 31, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • brae

      unfortunately, this happens to be the behavior of a lot of americans. i work internationally with the cruise ship industry and, sadly, i have to say i've noticed the people who are the laziest and the biggest whiners happen to be americans. i don't know if they view it all as a democracy and take it too far or think they are above everyone else who do have to follow protocol and regulations, but it's unfortunate. the guy missed his connecting flight and, in turn, caused HUNDREDS of people to be delayed as well. i don't know why he thought he deserved to get away with that.

      October 31, 2010 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      No terrorist has ever threaten me. The odds of that ever happening are less then me winning the lottery twice. People like you are wasting my tax dollars. However, the odds of being shot by the police pointing guns at me ... to protect me ... pretty high!

      October 31, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      that's right, because the people who aren't crying about this obviously have been brain-washed to the point that they wouldn't even cry when their loved ones are in that same attack. they'll just start shooting anyone who doesn't look like themselves.

      October 31, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle T. ROlling

      He was on time, hero.

      Did you not read the article? It was a connecting flight.

      Great job on the reading comprehension.

      October 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa

    Has anyone noticed that the airlines were TOTALLY at fault for NOT AUTOMATICALLY REMOVING THE LUGGAGE

    October 31, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • RemoveableBing

      "At that point the plane, which was still taxiing at the airport, was brought back to the gate, and airline employees removed the man's bag from the plane"

      Is this what you are going on about? They did remove his luggage. The airline did it. Have you flown before? You luggage is usually loaded as you are boarding. He was late to the plane, not his luggage. And by time he uttered the threat the plane had already left the gate, which means... his luggage was already on the plane.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Righton

      Lisa is right, the policy is that every bag needs to be matched to a passenger before the plane leaves the gate. The plane shouldn't have left the gate with this guy's luggage on it. Not that it matters since any moron knows not to say anything about a bomb in an airport.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Not true. if the luggage was scanned at the airport it can legally leave on any flight. The regulation states that is has to be on the same plane if it wasn't scanned and that is very old stuff. Virtually every airport in the US has scanners for checked luggage.

      For the path downs and other TSA power hungry ideas – is mostly to make you feel safe. The reality is that they miss stuff all the time. Just wait till the decide to give your young daughter a pat down.

      Personally I opt for the pat down in lieu of the digital strip search – funny thing is every time I refuse the body scanner they just send me through the magnetometer and have yet to conduct the required pat down. Yea they keep us safe – not

      October 31, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • DerrickAnthony

      The Airline didn't lose the plane – the Ass missed his connection. Once you're "checked" on one flight and connecting to another, you are automatically checked for that second flight. Have some sense. That is how the system is best efficient. The Ass missed getting to the gate on time. Should the "Airline" have looked for him, walked him onto the plane, and buckle him in?

      October 31, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Lisa, you don't know what you are talking about.

      October 31, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      @Steve....Hate to disagree with you but the policy is...Each piece of luggage loaded onto an aircraft must match a passenger who is listed on the passenger manifest. If passenger "A" is not on the manifest a matching piece of luggage is (should not be) not loaded into the cargo bay. Rogue baggage is not permitted unless it is cargo. There are still loopholes in the cargo rules. When your bag is put on the conveyor belt at check-in it is then accounted for up to the moment that the cargo door is locked and sealed. The pilot is cleared to leave the loading ramp only when the numbers are good and the tower gives the OK to taxi into position.

      October 31, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • PinkFlam

      Has anybody noticed that they did not quote the pssed-off passenger? That's because he said, "SUPPOSE my luggage has a bomb in it." United Airlines failed this one big time. They are not supposed to put his bags on the plane unless they are certain that he is also on the plane (or about to be boarded).

      October 31, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • larry


      October 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • tahoemike

      Luggage does not have to be loaded on the same domestic flight as the passenger. If a passenger misses a connection the luggage will sometimes and legally go on without the matched flight listed person. International flights must be luggage matched with a boarding passenger. This comment section gets a lot know it alls that have never worked in the airline industry or they just make random comments without knowing the facts.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RemoveableBing

    You know somewhere along the way common sense should have triggered. An angry passanger who just missed his flight claiming there is a bomb on the plane. He wouldn't be trying to stop the plane would he? It might be a poor method of doing it, but when people are angry they say stupid things to get a reaction.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Punkin Hade

      Ah but that's the beauty of "zero toleration" – nobody has to think. A kid brings Tylenol to school for headaches? Call the DEA! Your bottle of shampoo is 2 oz above the limit – sorry, throw it out!

      October 31, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lisa

    Airlines are REQUIRED to remove any unaccompanied luggage for security reasons and they did not do it. Even 15 years ago it was a requirement even though it was often ignored unless you called an airline on it publicly. I used this law in South America to hold a connecting flight for my husband whose ticket had been messed up and was late arriving to the connecting gate/flight. I told them they could either wait for my husband or take the time to remove his and my unaccompanied luggage from the hold before leaving which would take longer. They weren't happy, but they sure held the plane for him!!! The airlines should be fined for trying to take-off with unaccompanied luggage which MIGHT have really contained a bomb for some passengers who would not be announcing that they were not on the flight!!!!!

    October 31, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • douglas

      They say that, but you're right, they haven't done this for a long time...if ever. I've had where my bags didn't make it, or they went ahead on an earlier flight. I think it's ok (for them) if it was "their" decision. Plus, in 2000 if you were a United Premeir Executive (100k+/yr), at SFO at least, you had a separate ticket line, and those bags were not screened. The ticket agent told me this when she was citing some of the reasons my friend could not accompany me in that line. Lame, huh? So at that time...terrorists could have solved their problem by becoming frequent flyers...haha.

      October 31, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lisa

    To removeableBing, read your own blather and ask yourself who the idiot is. Either you can't read or your simply dumber than most. By the way, AH..., I doubt you have even 1/1000 the miles as I do and it's not back and forth from Vegas. Stop being an ass and read what the article said and then do a logical time line – it's really not that hard.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. merle

    May I ask a question? Why was a plane being escorted by two f-15s allowed to land at Kennedy? And what were the f-15s orders?

    October 31, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bryant

      No; you can't ask a question. You didn't have your hand in the air

      October 31, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Archiel

    Over-reaction. That's the sole reason why the DHS exist. Redundant self serving org. We should cut this org to reduce the deficit.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      I would agree there is way to much duplication of effort at every level of our govenment agencies. If there is one thing the Obama administration has done a great job at it is creating more federal govenement jobs. Don't forget who pays the sarlary of government employees, the U.S. taxpayer.

      October 31, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    these seems like a case of some jack butt, who things his time is more important than everyone else on the plane... and by saying there is a bomb on the plan the plane will come back and he can get on or get his stuff..Be damned all the 200 other people on the plane who are less important.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
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