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Friday, January 18, 2008

Ohio Man Removed From Skybus After Claiming He Had A Gun

A Kirtland, Ohio man is scheduled to face a judge after disrupting a flight Thursday evening after it had departed Port Columbus International Airport, by claiming he had a gun on board.
Fifteen minutes after Flight 81 with 134 passengers aboard had departed Port Columbus International Airport, a flight attendant overheard Todd Tornstrom, claiming to have a gun on board the airplane.

The flight attendant notified the pilot, who in turn, notified the Federal Aviation Administration who told the pilot to turn the plane around and land back at Port Columbus International Airport, where authorities took Tornstrom into custody.

10TV's Kevin Landers reported that the pilot initially told the passengers that they had to return to Columbus because of mechanical difficulties.

Another passenger, Richard McFarland, told the reported that he also overheard Tornstrom say he had "enough bullets to kill everyone".

"(Flight attendants) were telling the police he was a U.S. marshal," McFarland said. "He showed them a fake badge. I didn't see any weapon. I don't think he had one."

He also claimed Tornstrom was drunk and had been pushing people to get a seat before leaving Columbus.

No gun was found at the scene and Tornstrom is being charged with interference of a flight crew.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Tornstrom is to have a hearing this afternoon is the Federal Courts of Columbus and that according to the FBI, he allegedly told the flight attendant that he was with the Transportation Security Administration and had a gun, but after flashing her his "badge", she became suspicious because the badge did not look like a TSA badge and she overheard the "bullet" comment.

Passengers had to get off the plane and were subjected to another security check before being allowed to re-board the plane and continue to Fort Lauderdale. Some passengers refused.

A Skybus spokesman told reporters that the flight attendant did exactly what they are taught to do in that type of situation.