Cartoon drawing of a bundle of dynamite.
Bomb jokes and airports do not go together. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Aaron & Alli/Flickr)

Danisa Landaeta of Miami, Fla., was charged with with criminal mischief Tuesday at Miami International Airport. According the the Miami Herald, Landaeta thought it would be a hoot to draw a picture of a bomb and the word “boom” on the outside of her friend’s suitcase. Transportation Security Administration detained her at 2:40 p.m. over what officials called the “planting of a hoax bomb.”

Homeland Security isn’t laughing

Miami-Dade police responded to the TSA call, and Danisa Landaeta, 30, was apprehended for questioning at Terminal F of Miami International. She confessed to police that she had drawn the picture of a bomb and the word “boom” as a joke on her friend’s suitcase. The entire terminal was shut down for nearly two hours and several planes were relocated as bomb detection dogs swept for explosive devices. Landaeta’s friend did not leave on time for Venezuela via Santa Barbara Airlines as she had planned.

Landaeta was arrested on charges of perpetuating a hoax bomb and criminal mischief. Reports indicate that the transportation interruption cost more than $1,000.

Mixed reaction to Danisa Landaeta’s prank

Miami Herald reader reactions to the Danisa Landaeta bomb hoax story were mixed. One reader found TSA’s “overreaction” to be “absurd”:

“The TSA is out of control, and this is the third time they shut down a terminal in the last four days. They blew up a passenger’s baggage in Palm Springs on Friday, destroying the man’s property even though it turned out to contain nothing other than clothing and toiletries. Then they shut another terminal down over a ball-peen hammer in checked baggage. … This agency is a complete failure and needs to be replaced.”

While another reader took the opportunity to call out what he defined as TSA’s “extremism,” the vast majority of readers found Danisa Landaeta’s actions to be stupid. Erring on the side of caution is justifiable when lives are at stake, argued many readers. One reader called it as she saw it:

“Why all of the criticism for the TSA? If it had been a bomb, you people would complain that they didn’t do anything. The blame here is on this obviously-not-bright woman who thought that making a piece of luggage look suspicious in this day and age was funny. How many people had their day and travel disrupted because this stupid woman could not think far enough into the future to consider the effects of her little joke?”

There’s nothing funny about bombs at the airport


Local 10 Miami:

Miami Herald:

New York Daily News:

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