Bomb threat disrupts Southwest Florida International Airport
Last updated on: 5/25/2007 11:39:32 AM
LEE COUNTY: A bomb threat at Southwest Florida International Airport led to some major disruptions for travelers Thursday. The threat was called in from a pay phone at the BP gas station on Daniels Parkway and Treeline Avenue.
Christian Geraldo Mejia of 1803 NW 21st Street allegedly confessed to making the call alleging there was a bomb on a JetBlue flight. He told Airport police he made the call to prevent his girlfriend from leaving on the plane.
Around noon, Mejia drove the victim and her companion to Southwest Florida International Airport. She was scheduled to be on JetBlue flight #134 to New York.
While in the concourse, Mejia allegedly grabbed the victim twice in a bear hug grip against her will in order to keep her from leaving. He also tore up copies of her passport and identification card.
He finally allowed the victim and her companion to go through security on concourse D.
Mejia then told a skycap through a translator that his girlfriend had overheard two women say there was a bomb in luggage at JetBlue.
Before officers could locate Mejia, he left the airport. Thats when he allegedly went to the BP gas station and called 911 and told the operator there was a bomb on a JetBlue flight.
While the victim was with airport police from 12:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Mejia telephoned the victim 17 times. The victim tried to get Mejia to turn himself in, but he would not.
Finally around 8 p.m. Mejia agreed to turn himself in to Airport police. During questioning, he allegedly admitted to grabbing the victim in a bear hug and holding her against her will because he didnt want her to leave. He also admitted to twice alleging there was a bomb on a JetBlue flight so she would not leave on the plane.
The Lee County Sheriffs Office has charged Mejia with reporting a bomb hoax. He was charged by airport police with battery, domestic violence.
The Airport police also notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the illegal status of Mejia, the victim and her companion.
Transportation Security Administration officials used bomb-detecting dogs to sweep the JetBlue flight for explosives. They didn’t find anything and the plane took off 30 minutes late.