Actor T.J. Miller was charged Tuesday with calling in a fake bomb threat last month on an Amtrak train passing through Penn Station, prosecutors said.
Miller, known for his work as Erlich Bachman in HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” allegedly called a 911 dispatcher in New Jersey on March 18 and said a woman with a scarf “has a bomb in her bag.”
He told the dispatcher he was traveling from Washington, D.C., according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He apparently gave the wrong train number and by the time Amtrak investigators were notified of the call, the train he had been on was in Westport, Connecticut, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
The train was evacuated and searched, but no evidence of an explosive device or material was found.
Prosecutors said Miller actually had been ordered to get off the train in New York because he appeared drunk when he boarded it and continued to drink onboard. A first class attendant told investigators that Miller had gotten into “hostile exchanges” with a woman sitting in the same train car.
An investigator called Miller, 36, who lives in Manhattan. During the call, the actor said the woman was carrying a “black bag carry-on suitcase with a handle” and that she kept checking the bag without taking anything out, according to prosecutors.
Miller, who prosecutors said was slurring his words at the time, allegedly said the woman asked the first class train attendant what stop was next and appeared to want to leave her bag behind.
But prosecutors said the investigator who spoke with him suspected alcohol and asked Miller if he drank that day, or if he suffered from a mental illness, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
“One glass of red wine,” Miller allegedly said, but added about the second question: “No, absolutely not. This is the first time I’ve ever made a call like this before. I am worried for everyone on that train. Someone has to check that lady out.”
Miller was arrested Monday evening at LaGuardia Airport. He was released on a $100,000 bond during an appearance in federal court in New Haven. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
An attorney for Miller declined to comment.