- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Philly love triangle leads to plane scare, arrests
Question of the Day
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A love triangle is what authorities are blaming for a midair explosives scare that led to an aborted flight and a man being taken into custody twice in two states within about 12 hours.
The curious case of Christopher Shell began Thursday in Philadelphia, apparently triggered by a Facebook photo he posted of his ex-girlfriend and fueled by his feud with her and her new boyfriend. It ended Friday in Texas.
Within that time, Philadelphia police recalled Shell’s Dallas-bound flight and marched him off the aircraft at gunpoint; Shell cleared his name; authorities arrested the new beau, Kenneth W. Smith Jr., on charges of making a hoax threat about Shell and explosives; and Shell was taken into custody again, arrested on drug charges, when he finally reached Texas to celebrate his 29th birthday.
Both Shell and Smith posted bonds Friday in their respective cases. Shell declined to comment. Smith’s lawyer, Bill Brennan, described his client as “embarrassed” by the consequences of the alleged threat.
Passengers weren’t very happy either when the scare rerouted US Airways Flight 1267 on Thursday. They were about 90 miles into their trip from Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth when the aircraft turned around, allegedly due to technical problems.
After landing back at Philadelphia International Airport, heavily armed law enforcement officers boarded the plane and removed Shell. During questioning, he told authorities of the romantic feud, which involved hostile text messages with his ex and encounters with Smith, according to a federal affidavit.
Smith, 26, of Philadelphia, was charged with conveying false information that interfered with aviation and using an instrument of commerce — the phone — to do so.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and possible restitution.
Police on Thursday stressed that Shell, who lives in Philadelphia, was blameless for the airplane scare. He continued traveling later that day to his home state of Texas, where he planned to celebrate his birthday with friends and family. But authorities arrested him when he arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Collin County authorities said Shell had outstanding warrants for two drug-possession charges — less than 2 ounces of marijuana and less than 28 grams of a controlled substance.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world