Kelowna News

Alberta man charged with threatening WestJet flight in Kelowna

Michael Joseph Howells, 35, is taken into custody at the Kelowna Airport on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. He has been charged in connection to a phoned in threat against a WestJet flight.

KELOWNA – A 35-year-old Alberta man, who is living in Summerland, is facing a number of charges in connection with a threat made to a WestJet flight in Kelowna on Saturday.

At about 12:24 p.m., someone phoned in a threat regarding the flight scheduled to depart Kelowna for Calgary.

Police still refuse to say what exactly the threat was, but many passengers on the aircraft have told InfoNews officials told them it was a bomb threat.

The plane in question was about to land at the Kelowna Airport and as a precaution, was sent to a secure location away from the terminal building. The plane, luggage and the passengers were searched by officers and a police dog, as were the passengers and their luggage at the airport waiting to board the outgoing flight.

RCMP didn’t find anything of concern.

During the investigation, police identified a person of interest who was arrested at the airport. That person has now been charged.

Michael Joseph Howells, 35, is facing charges of uttering threats, public mischief, possession of a controlled substance, endangering aircraft by false information and mischief.

He spent the night in jail and was scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

A Kelowna RCMP service dog was used to help search passengers, luggage and the threatened plane at the Kelowna Airport on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014.
A Kelowna RCMP service dog was used to help search passengers, luggage and the threatened plane at the Kelowna Airport on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was corrected at 5:50 p.m. to include the correct date of the incident.


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