According to the report, Hurtado, a doctor from Guatemala, joked, “dynamite” when asked by a TACA Airlines ticket agent the standard question of if his bags contained any hazardous materials. According to a local NBC affiliate’s report, the agent actually gave Hurtado a chance to recant his statement by asking the question again, but Hurtado doubled-down on his dynamite joke and began laughing. As policy no doubt dictated, the agent took the threat seriously and called police while Hurtado tried to explain, too late, that his remark was only a joke.
The concourse was cleared, the bomb squad was called, and Hurtado’s bag was searched. No explosives were found, but everyone’s time was wasted. The AP reports that Hurtado’s sophisticated sense of humor caused one outgoing flight and the landing of several international flights to be delayed.
Hurtado was, predictably, taken into custody by police. He has been charged with “falsely reporting a bomb at an airport,” as an example and warning that U.S. airports are humor-free zones.