A Chicago woman who arrived late for a scheduled flight allegedly told staff at a Florida airport that there was a bomb inside her checked luggage. The false report was made after she’d been informed she would not be able to get on the plane, officials said.
Marina Verbitsky, 46, was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Monday evening and charged with one count of false reporting concerning planting a bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction, officials from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The incident occurred at 8:45 p.m. Monday as Verbitsky and others arrived at their gate inside the airport. But after being told the plane had already left the gate and had begun to taxi, Verbitsky allegedly told airport employees there was a bomb inside her checked luggage that had been loaded onto the plane.
Those employees contacted sheriff’s deputies, who arrived at the scene and immediately took Verbitsky into custody. The plane returned to the airport and was evacuated as a bomb squad and detectives from the sheriff’s office began searching for a bomb.
“A thorough inspection was conducted and the threat was determined to be unfounded,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in its statement.
Verbitsky was initially held at the sheriff’s office’s main jail. According to the Broward County State’s Attorney’s Office, a judge set Verbitsky’s bond at $10,000, ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation and barred her from possessing any weapons, firearms or ammunition.
Jail records show she bonded out Tuesday, the state’s attorney’s office said, and a subsequent court date has not yet been scheduled.