Video: Airline passengers hailed as heroes

updated 1/9/2009 12:37:37 PM ET 2009-01-09T17:37:37

A Kentucky man who claimed to have a bomb aboard a Los Angeles-bound jetliner and was then tackled and bound by other passengers will not face federal charges, the FBI said Wednesday.

No bomb was found aboard the Delta Air Lines Flight 110 from Atlanta, and after questioning by the FBI and airport police, federal investigators had decided not to pursue charges against Lawrence Johnson, 45, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

She said investigators concluded he should undergo a psychological evaluation.

Johnson was turned over to Los Angeles police and booked for making a false bomb threat. He was being held at a downtown jail, said airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb. He could not say if Johnson, who does not have a permanent address, underwent a psychological exam.

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The plane was only minutes from landing at Los Angeles International Airport shortly before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when a passenger “jumped up and started running ... (and) yelled ‘I've got a bomb,’” passenger Bruce Worrilow told Fox 11 News.

Eimiller, who noted that the sequence of events was unclear, said the plane was a minute or two from touching down when the man apparently left his seat and walked to the rear of the plane, where he scuffled with a flight attendant.

After passengers restrained him, the man claimed to have a bomb, then later lunged for an exit door and assaulted a passenger, Eimiller said.

Passengers and flight crew members then restrained him a second time, binding him with plastic ties.

The motive for the alleged threat was not immediately clear, Eimiller said.

None of the 271 passengers aboard the aircraft were hurt and no other flights were disrupted, said Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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