A 39-year-old man is in jail after police say he approached a TSA agent and said he had a bomb, prompting the Jacksonville International Airport to be evacuated and closed for several hours.
Zeljko Causevic was arrested by Aviation Authority police and booked into the Duval County Jail at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking records, Causevic was charged with making a false report about planting a bomb or explosive and manufactured possession, sale, delivery or mailing of a hoax bomb.
The arrest report describes the device in Causevic's bag as a luggage scale with micro chip inside and he had a remote control device that he called a "detonator."
JIA's external affairs director said Causevic was detained at the airport between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and Causevic made "a statement referring to a bomb" to a Transportation Safety Administration officer. The man, a U.S. citizen originally from Bosnia, was arrested after being questioned by police. He was being held without bond.
Passengers at JIA told Local 6 News partner WJXT-TV they witnessed two men being taken into custody, but police have not confirmed if either of those men was Causevic. Airport authorities did say a second man was arrested Tuesday night outside the terminal on a charge of resisting arrest with violence, they said he had no connection to Causevic and the hoax device.
Police also escorted a man off a plane, but authorities say he was not arrested.
A nervous traveler watched the man tried to storm through security screening.
"He was wearing a dark leather jacket. He had dark hair, he was wearing sunglasses, shoes. That was weird, the fact that he was trying to go through with all of that on. He had to take all of that off to get through security. So, it's kind of scary," said Catherine Swan-Clark who witnessed the the airport incident.
"The guy apparently, was not cooperating. I mean, I was in the middle of getting patted down and he... all the TSA agents started moving in and I heard one of the agents say, 'So you're telling me you have a bomb?'. And the guy said, 'Yes, I have a bomb'," Swan-Clark.
Hearing those words, she said TSA agents moved in on the man, but he wasn't violent or loud she remembers but rather cooperative.
"He was calm. He was calm. He wasn't, I didn't hear any screaming or anything. He was talking to the agent. He was talking calmly to him," said Swan-Clark.
That's when she said officers took the man away.
Witnesses said the same man was captured in a cellphone video by a passenger, coming off a flight on the other side of security.
Witnesses said officers tackled him, told him to drop his bag, and took him into custody.
Even with the two men out of the airport, it still meant long delays for travelers.
"I was hoping that when I saw him being arrested and escorted out, I was hoping that I'd be able to get out Tuesday," said Swan-Clark.