MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A Massachusetts woman was removed from two planes at Myrtle Beach International Airport last week and arrested on Friday night for allegedly making bomb threats on board an airplane.
According to the police report, Horry County Police responded to the airport at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, October 18, and took statements from witnesses to the incident. A Spirit Airline representative told the officer that a passenger, later identified as 51-year-old Nicole Sherri Negron, told the passenger next to her that she had a bomb in her carry-on bag, they wouldn't arrest her, and that she had done this before.
"Everyone was scared," said Kelsey Gowell, the passenger who reported the bomb threat. "The guys in front of me, they weren't really paying attention, but when they heard what I said, they clenched their seats. It was such a surreal situation, I felt like I was in a movie."
The passenger became upset and told a flight attendant, who told the plane's captain. Negron and Gowell were taken off the plane, and the TSA conducted a full physical search of the aircraft, the report states.
"They locked the plane down and escorted me off until the police got there," Gowell said. Being off the plane was upsetting to her, because other passengers thought she was the one making the threats.
An officer stepped in to tell the crowd she wasn't a criminal, but a hero. Everyone started crying, Gowell recalls.
"A lady gave me a bouquet of flowers, the airline attendants gave me a picture and I signed it," she said. "There are good people out there."
An Horry County Police officer noted that the Negron made a similar statement on a U.S. Airways flight at the Myrtle Beach airport on Tuesday, October 15. No charges were filed on that date, but U.S. Airways did not rebook her and refunded her money, the report states.
"She says, 'yeah you know, security is not what it used to be,'" Gowell said, recalling her conversation with Negron on the plane Friday. "She was like, 'after, I was fed up with them so to teach them a lesson I told them I had a bomb in my bag and they didn't even arrest me.'"
Gowell said the incident still haunts her.
"When I go to bed, forget it," she said. "I can't get her picture out of my head. She haunts me." Gowell was planning on flying back Monday, but she didn't want to get on the plane. Her father convinced her to face her fears.
"If you don't get on the airplane now, you'll be scared the rest of your life and never fly again," she recalled her father saying to her.
After an FBI agent interviewed Negron on Friday night, she was arrested, charged with conveying false information regarding attempted use of a destructive device, and booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Negron could face 10 years in prison, and police say she wasn't arrested the first time because TSA said she wasn't a threat. The second incident was more serous because it happened on the plane.