LaGuardia terminal evacuated in NYC, 1 arrested
(AP) - The central terminal at New York's LaGuardiaAirport was evacuated Saturday morning after a man entered thebuilding with a fake bomb in a bag, police said.
The scare was over in a few hours, but it disrupted travel plansfor thousands of people as flights were postponed and vehicletraffic to the airport was briefly halted. Delays also rippledacross the country as airlines adjusted their schedules.
Authorities identified the man as Scott McGann, a 32-year-oldwho was apparently homeless and had been living on New York City'sstreets for at least a year.
He had a ticket for a United Airlines flight headed to Chicago,with connecting flights that would have ultimately taken him toOakland, Calif., where he has family.
McGann "is clearly a very troubled young man," Queens DistrictAttorney Richard Brown said in a release.
McGann's arraignment, on charges including placing a false bombin a transportation facility and making a terrorist threat, waspostponed for a mental exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.He was held without bail, pending a court appearance Thursday. Anattorney who represented him in court did not immediately return atelephone call.
The trouble began shortly after 5 a.m., when he checked in forhis flight and immediately began attracting attention because ofbizarre behavior.
Police received two calls about an apparently intoxicated orsuspicious passenger before he had even reached a securitycheckpoint, Kelly said.
Authorities stopped McGann, but he didn't respond to questions.He then appeared to depress some sort of makeshift trigger,prompting Port Authority police to move in and snatch the bag away.
A search of the duffel turned up an assemblage of batteries andwires that police thought was intended to look like a bomb, Kellysaid. An NYPD bomb squad used a high-powered water cannon to blowthe device apart.
The terminal was evacuated at around 5:30 a.m. Investigatorsquickly determined that the device wasn't dangerous, but travelersbecame inconvenienced as flights were postponed and traffic backedup outside. Passengers didn't get back in to the terminal untilclose to 9 a.m.