A 46-year-old Oregon man was arrested at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday for allegedly telling an airline employee he had a bomb, a sheriff’s lieutenant said today.
Mark Todd Field became upset at a ticket counter in the international terminal shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday when a Philippine Airlines employee tried to make him pay for a roundtrip ticket, Acting Lt. Wes Matsuura said.
Field allegedly “became irate” and made a threat, Matsuura said.
“He held up his (cell) phone, pointed to the phone and indicated he was going to use the phone to blow up the plane,” Matsuura said.
The airline employee believed him and alerted the San Francisco Police Department, which has a bureau at the airport, Matsuura said.
Field was arrested and his cell phone and suitcases were seized and inspected to ensure there were no explosives.
He was booked into San Mateo County jail on suspicion of making a false bomb threat and was arraigned on the misdemeanor charge this afternoon in San Mateo County Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty.
He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Matsuura said he does not know why Field refused to pay for the ticket. “It appears that he was…a frustrated customer who made a very, very inappropriate statement that resulted in his arrest,” Matsuura said.
He said bomb threats happen occasionally at the airport but that the number has declined since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“Every bomb threat, every threat to the airport is taken seriously and handled by law enforcement,” Matsuura said.