Police investigate suspicious item at MIA, arrest man
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade Police arrested a man in connection to a suspicious item found at the Miami International Airport that prompted authorities to evacuate a connector in the airport's south terminal Tuesday afternoon.
Miami Beach resident James Edison Bahamonde, 38, was detained following reports of comments he allegedly made of having a possible explosive inside a duffel bag. "At approximately 4:26 p.m., an adult male located inside the terminal (second level) asked another individual to hold his bag while making a reference to explosives," said Miami-Dade Detective Roy Rutland in a written statement.
According to Bahamonde's arrest affidavit, the suspect "was at the Miami International Airport Delta Sky Club Bar ... waiting for his luggage to arrive on a later flight." He then asked the bar attendant the location of the nearest bathroom. After the attendant gave him directions, the affidavit continues, Bahamonde "asked if she would watch his bag, and added that she would be responsible for it and that there may be a bomb in it." The suspect went to the bathroom, and the attendant notified Miami-Dade Police.
Officials have confirmed that Bahamonde was later arrested and charged with planting of hoax bomb. According to his affidavit, "while he was being taken into custody Defendant Bahamonde spontaneously stated, 'I was just kidding.'"
According to Rutland, after detaining the subject for questioning, police evacuated the H and J connector in the airport's south terminal while they waited for MDPD's Bomb Squad. Officials said no flights were delayed as a result of the evacuation.
Police reopened the terminals once the Bomb Squad examined the package and deemed it safe. The area authorities evacuated is where passengers who have already gone through security head to departure gates in MIA concourses H and J.
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