A Michigan man who left a "suspicious" but ultimately harmless bag behind in LaGuardia Airport Saturday morning has been charged with making terroristic threats, the Port Authority said Sunday.
The man — whom the Port Authority identified as John Park, 70, of Farmington, Michigan — threatened to return with a bomb after arguing with a Spirit employee at a Terminal B ticket counter around 7:15 a.m., the NYPD said.
Park walked away, then returned and placed a bag on the countertop, police said.
In a brief interview with NBC New York on Saturday night, he indicated that the incident was really just a misunderstanding, that he was just kidding about the bomb.
"I'm an Asian, [we] have different culture, making jokes here and there," Park said. "They just overreacted."
An NYPD spokesman said its bomb squad was called to the scene at about 7:30 a.m. “to investigate a suspicious bag left behind by a male in custody with PAPD [Port Authority Police Department].”
Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said the ticketing area of Terminal B was secured, and the terminal was partially evacuated while the bomb squad swept the area and the bag, which was determined not to be a threat.
There were no reported injuries, officials added.
Concourses C and D continued to operate normally during the investigation, Pentangelo said, but passengers were advised that they should expect delays during the probe. All terminals were operating normally by 9:25 a.m., he said.
With Polly Higgins, Alison Fox & Nicole Levy