Cops: After Missing Flight, Woman Made Bomb Threat

Relatives say Marina Verbitsky was worried about her son missing school
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2021 11:00 AM CDT
Cops: Woman Who Missed Plane Made Bomb Threat
Marina Verbitsky.   (Broward County Sheriff's Office)

Relatives say Chicago woman Marina Verbitsky was worried about her son missing school when she was told she'd missed her flight home from Florida. Her actions at the boarding gate could put her behind bars until after he graduates. Police say the 46-year-old swore at JetBlue employees at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when they told her she'd arrived too late to board the plane Monday night—and when she was told her checked luggage was already on the plane, she claimed it contained a bomb. The aircraft, which was already taxiing on the runway, was evacuated while authorities searched for explosives, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. No bomb was found.

Verbitsky was taken to jail and she faces one count of false reporting concerning planting a bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. A judge set bail at $10,000 and ordered Verbitsky to undergo a mental health evaluation. "It was a mistake," a relative tells the Chicago Sun-Times. "She was nervous about the son needing to go to school. It was a mess but it was definitely not meant to be." Her husband and son, who arrived at the boarding gate with her, weren't charged. (A 74-year-old Canadian man was arrested after making a similar threat at the same airport in July.)

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