Dumb joke, Doc: Bomb prank at Miami airport will cost surgeon almost $90,000

A Venezuelan neurosurgeon is going to be digging deep into his pockets after making an ill-advised joke at Miami International Airport.

Dr. Manuel Alvarado has agreed to pay $89,172.53 after making a bomb joke that sparked a massive police response and shut down part of the airport nearly two months ago, the Miami Herald reported.

On Oct. 22, the 60-year-old surgeon was flying to Bogota, Colombia when an Avianca ticket agent asked if he had any explosives in his luggage.

Alvarado replied: “C-4.” The airline agent asked if that was a gun, but the doctor explained it was an explosive. The agent contacted Miami-Dade Police, who deployed the bomb squad to search the doctor’s luggage.

No explosives were found.

The investigation delayed thousands of passengers from five airlines and shut down two concourses. Alvarado, who kept insisting that he had just made a joke, was arrested.

His attorney said Alvarado was “sleep deprived” that day.

“I feel very ashamed and sorry for that stupid thing I said,” Alvarado wrote in a confession. “I am very, very sorry.”

With Alvarado agreeing to pay nearly $90,000, prosecutors decided against filing formal charges of making a false bomb threat and criminal mischief.

Nearly $84,000 of the money he has agreed to pay will go to the five airlines forced to delay their flight and the rest will go to Miami-Dade Police.

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