SFO bomb threat a dud

A dispute about a ticket at San Francisco International Airport that ended with an Oregon man threatening to blow up a plane has landed him behind bars.

Mark Field, 46, was in the midst of a heated argument with attendants from Philippine Airlines when he abruptly threatened to explode a bomb by using his cell phone, according to Sgt. Wesley Matsuura of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were called to the International Terminal around 10 p.m. Tuesday. And after it was determined that Field didn’t possess any possible explosive devices, police arrested him on suspicion of falsely reporting a bomb threat, Matsuura said.

Field did not appear to be suffering from any mental problems, and no drugs or alcohol were detected in his system, Matsuura said.

He became enraged after officials from Philippine Airlines attempted to charge him a round-trip fare for his flight, which was originally
one way.

Matsuura did not know exactly where the flight was headed, but he did know that it was going to a foreign country and he said that concerns about immigration usually prevent an airline from issuing international tickets without a return flight.

“He was pretty upset,” said Matsuura, who estimated that Tuesday’s incident was the second or third this year involving a false bomb threat. “Luckily, we were able to resolve this thing without anyone getting hurt.”

Field, who is from Gold Beach, Ore., is being held in custody in San Mateo County on $50,000 bail, according to Karen Guidotti of the District Attorney’s Office. He was arraigned Wednesday and will go before a jury Oct. 19, according to Guidotti.

If convicted, Field could face up to a year in jail.

Overall, the incident had little affect on the airport’s operations, according to SFO spokesman Michael McCarron. The airport didn’t raise any security levels following Field’s arrest and no planes were delayed, he said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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