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Man Pays MIA Thousands For Fake Bomb Threat

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Making a bomb threat at an airport is no laughing matter—especially for a Venezuelan man had to pay the airport thousands of dollars for telling a gate agent he had explosives in his luggage.

Manuel Alberto Alvarado
Manuel Alberto Alvarado was arrested after, police said, he claimed to have a bomb (Courtesy: Miami-Dade Police)

The comment, which Dr. Manuel Alvarado later said was a joke, ended up costing him more than $89,000.

"Today we are here basically because of a knucklehead who made a bomb threat back in October," said Lauren Stover with Miami International Airport.

Alvarado, a prominent neurosurgeon from Venezuela, was forced to make out two checks; one payable to Miami Dade Aviation Department for $83,519 and another to the Miami-Dade Police Department in the amount of $5,653.19.

"People make these stupid comments all the time and they think it's cute and at this airport, if you want to be cute, I will show you what cute looks like," said MIA Director Emilio Gonzalez. "You cost us money. Your stupid comments have an effect, it interrupted our operations, you inconvenienced our passengers and, you know what, you're going to write me a check."

Click here to WATCH CBS4 Marybel Rodriguez's report

Airport officials calculated they lost $106 a minute during the more than three-hour airport disruption. It's the first time MIA had been able to collect restitutions for false threats and are sending a clear message to anyone thinking of "joking" by making a bomb threat.

"I hope we don't have to do it again but if it happens again we will do it, again and again, until people understand this is not funny," Gonzalez said.

The comments made by Dr. Alvarado disrupted thousands of passengers, delayed flights and evacuated several terminals.

The state attorney's office has agreed not to file additional charges as long as he paid his civil penalty which he did.


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