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Man charged for making fake bomb threat that forced Orlando flight to make emergency landing

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Related video above: American Airlines employee hospitalized after attack on plane leaving FL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Rhode Island man who got into a “passenger disturbance” that caused an Orlando flight to make an emergency landing Tuesday has been charged with making a fake bomb threat on the airplane, the U.S. States Attorney’s Office announced.

Evan Sims, 41, was charged with false information and threats regarding the possession of an explosive on an airplane. If convicted, Sims will face a maximum of five years in federal prison.

On Dec. 5, Sims was on a Breeze Airways flight going from Orlando to Providence, Rhode Island, when he began arguing with his travel companion before the plane took off.

According to court documents, Sims allegedly told his travel companion that he had never heard of Breeze Airways and that he hoped the airplane did not “go down.” He also stated that they would be “gone with the wind.”

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While boarding the flight and during the safety briefing, Sims reportedly made comments to his travel companion about needing to use the emergency doors and that the windows looked like they hadn’t been used. He also said he hoped they wouldn’t have to use the windows.

Sims also questioned the flight crew regarding the emergency life raft that was in the overhead storage compartment. Court documents show that Sims’s travel companion and the surrounding passengers were uncomfortable with Sims’s statements. His travel companion asked Sims to stop making his comments.

Then, as the flight started to take off, Sims partially stood up and exclaimed that he wanted to get off the plane. While in the air, Sims stated twice that his travel companion “had a bomb on the plane.”

After his repeated disturbances and escalating behavior, the flight was forced to make an emergency landing at the Jacksonville International Airport. According to court documents, bomb-detection dogs searched the plane but did not locate a bomb.

The Transportation Security Administration, Jacksonville Aviation Authority Airport police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Source: WFLA

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