Bad bomb joke prompts Alaska airport evacuation

Police say suspect is from Colorado

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A man who prompted an evacuation of the main terminal at Anchorage's largest airport by making comments about a bomb, which he later said were jokes, has been charged with making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Peter Friesema, a Colorado hockey referee who officiated a UAA tournament over the weekend, was arrested early Sunday by police at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Friesema was at the counter and noticed the airline agent placed his luggage sticker on his traveling companion's bag.

Friesema pointed the error out to the agent, who replied that it didn't matter because both were headed to the same airport.

The bags were already headed down the conveyor when Friesema replied "But my friend's bag has a bomb in it," the agent reported hearing him say.

Friesema recounted the incident differently claiming he asked "what if my friend's bag has a bomb in it?" the newspaper reported.

Either way, the comment closed the airport, sending passengers out into the midnight cold air.  The terminal was reopened about three hours later after it became clear there was no threat. 

Airport manager John Parrott says Friesema was jailed at the Anchorage Correctional Complex with bail set at $5,000.

Friesema is charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. The FBI and state authorities are still evaluating whether to bring additional charges.

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