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Passenger arrested after making threat in Boston, officials say

Delta jet evacuated, swept for bombs

An official at Boston's Logan International Airport escorts the suspect, identified by a government source as Richard Lambertsen, on Thursday to a police van.  

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- A man was arrested Thursday after he told a flight attendant on a Delta Air Lines plane preparing to take off from Boston's Logan International Airport that he had "top secret" information and that "people could be killed," officials said.

The incident does not appear to be related to terrorism, a government source said.

The incident occurred at 1:15 p.m. EST after the jet had been pulled back from Gate 34, where boarding had just been completed. The plane, Delta Express Flight 2533, was to fly to Orlando, Florida.

Within two minutes, state police entered the plane and escorted the man off, said Phil Orlandella, director of media relations at Logan.

The 118 passengers and five crew members aboard Flight 2533 were also taken off the plane, Orlandella said.

The man, identified as Richard Lambertsen, 49, of Cocoa, Florida, repeated his words to officials questioning him, and he was charged with interfering with a flight crew, sources said.

Once the passengers had left the plane, the Boeing 737 was moved to a remote runway where it and the passengers' luggage were searched by state police and dogs for possible explosives. None was found, Orlandella said.

"It was not a bomb threat, he did not have a weapon, he did not say he had a weapon, he did not say he was going to blow up a plane or anything," Orlandella said. "But the nature of the wording was enough for them to decide to take the action they did."

Asked whether the passenger made any threats, he said, "Right now, yes, we are characterizing it as a threat."

Officials from the FBI, Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies were notified, he said. "I think the situation was handled by the book."

The flight -- minus Lambertsen -- took off from Logan at 3:30 p.m., nearly three hours after its 12:40 p.m. scheduled takeoff.

Both planes that crashed into the World Trade Center September 11 took off from Logan.




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