Man Charged With Planting Hoax Bomb at Miami International Airport After Suspicious Package Forces Evacuation of Several Areas

Police said that James Bahamonde asked a bar attendant to watch his bag, telling her that she'd be responsible for it and that there may be a bomb within it

A 38-year-old man has been charged with planting a hoax bomb after a suspicious package he left in a Miami International Airport bar forced the evacuation of several areas on Tuesday, authorities said.

James Bahamonde was arrested in connection with the incident at the Delta Sky Club Bar, Miami-Dade Police said. It wasn't immediately known whether he has an attorney.

Bahamonde, who was waiting for his luggage to arrive on a later flight, approached the bar attendant and asked her where the restroom was, police said. After she gave him directions, Bahamonde asked if she would watch his bag, adding that she would be responsible for it and that there may be a bomb within it, police said in an arrest affidavit.

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Bahamonde headed to the restroom, but he was taken into custody by two officers.

"I was just kidding," he said as he was being taken into custody, according to the affidavit.

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Police said earlier that at 4:26 p.m., a man on the second level of the airport asked someone to hold his bag while he made references to explosives.

He was detained and was being questioned, but three terminals, H through J, were emptied.

Airport spokesman Marc Henderson said a checkpoint by Concourse H had been evacuated, along with a portion of the connector between Terminals H and J.

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Authorities later gave the all-clear as the terminals were re-opened to the public.

"It's over," Henderson said.

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