PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man on a Dallas-bound flight was deemed the unassuming victim of a midair explosives hoax that forced the plane to return to Philadelphia, where he was arrested at gunpoint. Hours later, the man who had planned to celebrate his 29th birthday was arrested in Texas on outstanding warrants.
Authorities say the initial scare Thursday was a hoax after searching the US Airways jet and questioning the man, who did nothing wrong and was the victim of a nasty trick. Police say they were acting on a tip.
Officials didn’t name the man. But, Philadelphia resident Christopher Shell identified himself in a phone call with The Associated Press as the passenger removed from the plane.
Shell was arrested later Thursday on outstanding warrants after arriving Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Airport spokesman David Magana said the warrants are from North Texas law enforcement agencies.