Police ID man who caused Sky Harbor closure after claiming he had bomb

Jul 10, 2017, 11:31 AM | Updated: 11:41 am
(Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Photo)...
(Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Photo)
(Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Photo)

PHOENIX — Police have identified a man who allegedly claimed he had a bomb at Phoenix Sky Harbor, shutting down part of one of the airport’s busiest terminals.

The Phoenix Police Department said 61-year-old John Lincoln Nichols checked his bag at a Southwest Airlines desk about 3:30 p.m. Friday inside Terminal 4.

After the airline employee tagged the bag, Nichols allegedly said there was a bomb inside and walked away from the area.

The employee informed law enforcement and the ticketing area was evacuated while Nichols was located. He was arrested.

Nothing harmful was found in Nichols’ bag.

A bomb squad, two fire departments and Sky Harbor’s full compliment of officers responded to the threat.

At one point, the three bottom floors on the east side of Terminal 4 were evacuated. That area includes baggage claim, ticketing and departure and arrival gates for American Airlines, British Airways, Southwest and others.

Police said the threat caused a halt to all airline operations. Police estimated the closure caused millions of dollars worth of delays.

Court documents showed Nichols was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but did not give further details.

Nichols is a Navy veteran who lives in Temecula, Calif.

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Police ID man who caused Sky Harbor closure after claiming he had bomb