Airport Bomb Joke Costs Surgeon $89K
Five airlines shut down operations in Miami
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2014 4:47 PM CST
Manuel Alvarado: Will be sticking to his day job.   (Miami-Dade Corrections)

(Newser) – It might be the most expensive failed joke ever: A neurosurgeon has to pay more than $89,000 because he thought it would be funny to tell a ticket agent at Miami International Airport that he had explosives in his bag, reports Local10. Most of the money will go to five airlines that had to delay flights in the chaos that ensued last October, but the Miami-Dade Police Department will get a slice, too. One bright spot for 60-year-old Manuel Alvarado: The Venezuelan will not face formal charges of making a false bomb threat.

“I feel very ashamed and sorry for that stupid thing I said,” wrote Alvarado in a confession. “I am very, very sorry.” The Miami Herald has details on the joke: When the ticket agent asked Alvarado whether he had explosives in his luggage, he answered, "C-4." When the agent asked whether that was a gun, Alvarado explained that C-4 was an explosive—a response that led to a massive police response and delays for thousands of passengers, all while the good doctor was trying to explain that he was just kidding.