Bomb Threat: Man With Wires, Battery Prompts LaGuardia Evacuation

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Authorities evacuated LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal for several hours on Saturday after a man with a bag containing wires and a battery entered the airport, a Port Authority spokesman said.

The man is in custody, and authorities have allowed passengers back into the terminal, Port Authority spokesman John Kelly said.

A law enforcement official close to the investigation said the man is Scott McGann, 32, of New York.

New York Police Department's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne told CNN that the man raised the suspicions of a Transportation Security Administration employee because he appeared "intoxicated."

The man had a duffel bag with wires sticking out of it, Browne said, and inside the bag, batteries were hooked up to the wires.

The city's bomb squad was called in to examine the device, Browne said, and determined that it was not dangerous.

"It was a hoax device," he said.

Asked whether the man had said anything about a bomb, Browne said, "Clearly, it appeared he wanted people to think that's what he had."

The terminal was evacuated shortly after 5:20 a.m., but by midmorning, all concourses in the terminal were reopened, with the exception of Concourse C, Kelly said. Authorities are treating the concourse, which serves American Eagle, United and United Express flights, as a crime scene, Kelly said.

Kelly said the concourse will likely reopen in a few hours.

The man in custody was not immediately identified. Kelly said he "was just acting crazy," and offered no further details.

Authorities had stopped flights from taking off or landing at the airport, but by a little after 9 a.m., flights were slowly beginning to resume, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker said.

Baker said flights were expected to be back to normal in a few hours.

It was unclear how many passengers were in the terminal at the time of the evacuation, although scores of them with luggage lined the roads outside the airport during the evacuation.

Central Terminal is one of four terminals in the airport, which is in the borough of Queens. It is about eight miles from Manhattan.

The incident disrupted travel plans for many passengers, including CNN i-Reporter Jose Ojeda, 24, who had been sitting on the tarmac on a plane headed to Chicago, Illinois, when the evacuation was ordered.

"We were all ready to go," Ojeda, of Bronx, New York, said of his flight, which he said had been scheduled to leave at 6:10 a.m.

"They didn't make any announcement other than, 'You need to evacuate,'" he said. "I thought it was standard procedure, but then nce we got out of the plane, they kept pushing us back and back, out of the terminal out of the actual airport."

--CNN's Chuck Johnston, Aspen Steib, Ross Levitt and Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

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