Hijacking Suspect Wanted To Crash Into Concert - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Hijacking Suspect Wanted To Crash Into Concert

Emily Richard Emily Richard
Kyle Bartlett Kyle Bartlett

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Police arrested and charged a teenager Tuesday night at Nashville International Airport.

Investigators said he planned to hijack a commercial airliner.

The 16-year-old boarded a plane in California bound for Nashville.

Airport police said he smuggled handcuffs and other dangerous items on board.

Airport police in Nashville learned of a possible threat on an incoming flight.

"Our police unit is in constant communication," said airport spokeswoman Emily Richard. "We partner with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who does all the security screenings here. Of course, the airlines give us heads up as well."

A tip led guards to arrest a teenage runaway from a Los Angeles flight.

Investigators said he somehow smuggled handcuffs, rope and tape onto the plane. He also had a copy of the flight plan and schedules.

Investigators said he planned to hijack the plane and order the pilots to divert the course from Nashville to Lafayette, La. The teenager wanted to crash the airliner into a Hannah Montana concert.

Sources told NewsChannel 5 the teen didn't have a chance.

He was confronted on the plane and held until it landed.

"There's no way he could pull it off," said Kyle Bartlett. "Why even try?"

"Sounds like a desperate cry for attention," said Tracey Gray, another airport visitor. "Handcuffs and duct tape are not going to get you where you want to go."

The teenager was taken to the Davidson County juvenile detention center where he was charged with felony terrorism.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved.

Richard said airport police are trained to "take things seriously, to investigate, to follow-up, to ensure passengers are safe when they travel in and out of our airport."

Airport police reacted quickly. The suspect did not have a weapon, but he did have handcuffs and a plan to hijack the plane.

The tip to police likely came from his parents. He supposedly used his mother's credit card to buy the airline ticket.

Sources said he may have made similar threats to do something like this in the past.

The suspect got the date wrong for the concert. It takes place Friday night instead of earlier this week.

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