Ex-Lover's Bomb Hoax Forced Plane U-Turn: Cops

Let's just say Christopher Shell did not have a happy birthday
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 11:32 PM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2012 12:25 AM CDT
Ex-Lover's Bomb Hoax Forces Plane U-Turn: Cops
A passenger on a US Air flight talks about how law enforcement officials boarded the plane that returned to Philadelphia International and apprehended the passenger sitting next to him.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

An apparently bitter ex-girlfriend is to blame for the US Airways flight that was forced to make an emergency turnaround after taking off from Philadelphia yesterday after she cooked up a bomb threat, law enforcement authorities report. A man called on her behalf to report that the woman's former beau, who was on the Dallas-bound flight, was armed with liquid explosives, police say. A SWAT team stormed the plane when it landed in Philadelphia and dragged the man, Christopher Shell, off the plane, reports ABC News. Shell had no explosives and was cooperating fully with investigators, according to cops. "He was obviously very alarmed, as I would be if heavily armed police entered a plane to take me off," says a police spokesman. "He was certainly stunned."

Unfortunately, Shell happened earlier to post on his Facebook page that he had breezed through security quickly thanks to a friend at the airport, raising alarms in the wake of the phone call, say authorities. In an interesting twist, Shell was let go only to be busted on outstanding arrest warrants when he finally landed in Texas, though police would not reveal details about the warrants, reports AP. The ex-girlfriend and the man who called in the hoax are in custody and have been questioned by federal authorities. "This is no joke," says Philly's chief police inspector. "These will be federal charges. They're going to be very serious charges." (More Dallas stories.)

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