NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An Israeli citizen and A Hoboken man were both arrested Sunday for allegedly making separate false bomb threats at Newark-Liberty International Airport.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, the first incident occurred just before 10 a.m. Sunday. Authorities said Eran Hess, 44, was fresh off a long flight from his native Tel Aviv with his wife and two sons, and he and his family were not happy to learn they had just missed their connecting flight to Miami.
The workers at the United Airlines counter told police Hess was furious and when he was told his bags made it on to the flight, he allegedly told them he “didn’t care” because the luggage “contained a bomb.”
“You mention the word bomb — TSA, police — it was scary,” said passenger Susan Hirschfeld. She, along with 166 other passengers and six crewmembers, were drawn into the drama.
“It was an ordeal,” another man said after arriving in Miami.
After more than 10 hours in custody Sunday, Hess was in no mood for anymore talking. He declined to comment as he was released.
The tense moments that followed on the Newark tarmac were documented by passengers with their cell phone cameras.
“We were about to take off, and all of a sudden they said we had to come back,” the male passenger said.
“Police cars, fire engines, you name it — we put our carry-ons in a row, and they inspected it, and then cargo, and they lined that up,” added Hirschfeld. “We were shuttled on a bus a mile away.”
While they were held up for hours outside, a frenzied search for Hess and his family went from Terminal to Terminal.
When officers arrived, Hess was gone, They caught up with him trying to arrange a another flight on a different airline in a different terminal.”
“His luggage was left on the tarp, and the police went and took it away,” Hirschfeld said.
Some of the passengers were so rattled by the experience that they decided not to fly at all. Those who continued on to Miami got there safely, more than two hours late.
In the other incident, also on Sunday morning, Thomas Foley III, 35, of Hoboken, allegedly stated at a Terminal C checkpoint that he had a bomb in his shoe, according to a Star-Ledger report.
Foley did not, in fact, have a bomb in his shoe. Police have not determined why he said he did, the newspaper reported.
Both Hess and Foley were charged with making a false public alarm.
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