EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A high school student confessed to sending a hoax bomb threat via AirDrop that resulted in an American Airlines flight being diverted from the tarmac at a Texas airport last week, authorities said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said that while the flight was taxiing on Friday at El Paso International Airport, passengers got a message on their Apple device via AirDrop saying: “I have a bomb would like to share a photo." In the statement released Monday, The agency said that because of that message, the aircraft taxied back to a gate.
The Department of Public Safety said that an investigation resulted in the identification of the juvenile, who confessed to sending the AirDrop. The agency said evidence supporting the confession was found on the suspect's cellphone.
A bomb squad search of the aircraft, passengers and luggage did not find any explosives and the threat was deemed not credible, the agency said.
The Department of Public Safety said the El Paso County attorney agreed to prosecute the juvenile for false alarm or report, and the juvenile was released to the custody of the El Paso County Juvenile Probation Department.
Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh confirmed that the juvenile was a student returning from a school-sponsored mission trip near the Texas-Mexico border. School spokesman Brian Cook told WTAE television station in Pittsburgh that the student's message was meant to be a joke.
There were 125 passengers and eight flight crew members on American Airlines Flight 2051, which was headed to Chicago.