Mom of Would-Be LaGuardia Bomber: "He's Not a Kook"

Hundreds evacuated and delayed by deranged man with fake bomb

By Xana O'Neill
|  Monday, Aug 3, 2009  |  Updated 5:59 AM PDT
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"This Is Ridiculous"

AP

Passengers wait on a highway overpass outside LaGuardia Airport during an evacuation Saturday.

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"This Is Ridiculous"

One family talks about how frustrated they are that they got all held up because of a false alarm.
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The mother of the phony LaGuardia bomber said her son isn't a crazed cold-blooded killer -- he's mentally ill.

"He's not a kook," Margie Jones told The New York Daily News.

Would-be bomber Scott McGann suffers from catatonic schizophrenia that causes the 32-year old to enter a psychotic state where he cannot speak or respond, his distraught mother told the paper.

"I love my son," said Jones, who lives in a California town three hours north of San Francisco.

McGann, a former Web consultant who is now homeless, was undergoing court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital after he was arrested over the weekend for taking a phony bomb to LaGuardia Airport and causing mass panic at the facility.

"He doesn't know why he's in trouble," a source at the hospital told The New York Post. "He understands being in a hospital because he knows he does have problems, but the situation in the court and the cops and correctional officers ordering him about are confusing him."

"He doesn't believe he committed a crime."

A second source told the paper that McGann had been admitted to the hospital for a week in June because he was "paranoid delusional and had a persecution complex."

McGann was described by officials as "acting crazy" when he entered LaGuardia Airport's main terminal on Saturday wearing ragged clothes, acting erratically and toting a bag loaded with batteries and wires that authorities feared was a bomb. 

He caught the attention of two Port Authority cops who spotted wires poking out his bag and tackled him as McGann tore wires from his arms and pressed what appeared to be a trigger linked to the fake bomb, the Post reported.

The bomb ended up being several batteries taped together.

McGann was preparing to board United Flight 667 to Chicago followed by connecting flight to Oakland, California.

He is charged with placing a false bomb, placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in a mass transportation facility and making a terrorist threat.

McGann, who was homeless for at least a year, was described as a mild-mannered guy who sold handmade wares in Union Square.

"He was a friendly guy who worked a lot with skateboarders," William Saar, 50, who sells used books in Union Square told The News.  "He didn't seem like the type of guy to do something like this."

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