Man accused of driving limo onto Vegas airport, bomb threat
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A court appearance is set for next week for a man accused of driving a limousine onto aircraft ramps at Las Vegas’ international airport, donning a clown mask and declaring he had a bomb before surrendering to authorities.
Matthew Ray Hancock, 36, was arrested Wednesday near private air carrier operations off Las Vegas Boulevard on felony charges including making a terrorist threat, causing dispersal with a hoax substance and misdemeanor trespassing, according to court records. No injuries were reported.
According to police, Hancock told investigators he was “Tik Tok famous” after having been stopped by officers Nov. 11 and ticketed for reckless driving with a limousine spinning its tires through traffic on the Las Vegas Strip, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
On Wednesday, authorities allege Hancock drove a limousine through gates of a private air carrier, breached inner and outer airport security barriers, spun vehicle wheels across an aircraft ramp and stopped near parked aircraft.
Witnesses told police that Hancock got out of the limousine, put on a clown mask and shouted that he had a bomb and was going to detonate it, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Nearby employees fled, and Hancock drove away before being stopped by police.
Hancock told officers there was a shotgun and a “gasoline device” in the car, and that he intended to take a jet to fly to Area 51 to look for aliens, authorities said. Area 51 is a former top-secret U.S. Air Force base about a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas famous for theories about space visitors and extraterrestrial lore.
Police said McCarran air traffic was “altered” during the incident.
Investigators said they found an apparent oxygen tank in the limousine with a pressure gauge, Christmas lights and metal objects attached that made it look like a bomb.
Hancock also allegedly told police he had high-security clearance, that he was in the mob and that someone owed him millions of dollars, according to his arrest report.
Hancock remained jailed Friday. He was characterized as “disruptive” and refused to appear in court Thursday, according to records that show he is due again in court on Tuesday.
A judge set bail at $150,000 and ordered house arrest with electronic monitoring if Hancock is released. A deputy public defender represented him temporarily. It was not clear Friday if Hancock had hired a lawyer.