Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 1 News List

LaGuardia terminal evacuated in NYC, man in custody


A homeless man is accused of creating a bomb scare that interrupted flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport for several hours on Saturday.

The airport’s central terminal was evacuated for several hours after the man entered the building with a fake bomb in a bag, then acted like he was trying to detonate it, police said.

The episode ended with a quick arrest, but it disrupted travel plans for thousands of people as flights were postponed and vehicle traffic to the airport was briefly halted. Delays also rippled across the country as airlines adjusted their schedules.

Late on Saturday, a judge ordered a psychiatric examination for the suspect, Scott McGann, a 32-year-old who had apparently been living on New York City’s streets for at least a year. McGann has been arrested in the city at least three times previously in the past two years, most recently in June, authorities said. He gave prosecutors a Manhattan address that does not exist, city property records showed.

McGann “is clearly a very troubled young man,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a release.

McGann’s arraignment, on charges including placing a false bomb in a transportation facility and making a terrorist threat, was postponed for a mental exam to determine if is fit to stand trial.

He was held without bail, pending a court appearance.

The terminal was evacuated at about 5:30am. Passengers didn’t get back in to the terminal until close to 9am and Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker said LaGuardia was closed to many incoming flights from 6:30am to 10am.

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