Traveler threatens to ‘blow up’ Nashville airport

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 12:45am
Kevin C. Quihuis

Updated at 12:30 p.m. to correct that he was arrested on Saturday.

The holiday season stress may have gone to the head of one recent traveler at Nashville International Airport. According to a police affidavit, a 26-year-old man was arrested Saturday after he threatened to “blow up” the airplane and airport.

Kevin Craig Quihuis allegedly made his threats after a Continental Airlines representative informed him he'd been bumped from his scheduled flight due to overbooking.

Quihuis “became irate and stated, ‘If I don’t get a seat, I'm goin to blow-up the airplane,’” according to the affidavit.

When Continental employees tried to talk to the passenger, he allegedly made another threat to “blow up” the airport as well, the affidavit says.

Airline employees called airport police, and Quihuis was taken into custody. The K9 bomb squad was mobilized, but no bomb was found.

Quihuis was arrested on charges of making a false report because the “defendant made such statements that he knew were false” that caused others to fear for their safety, the affidavit reads.

The defendant is still in police custody and is scheduled to appear in general sessions court Wednesday morning before Judge Gloria Dumas.

Nashville Airport Authority spokeswoman Emily Richard declined to talk about the specific incident.

In general, she said the standard practice when an individual makes a threat is to run a criminal background check on an individual to see if he or she has any warrants and have the K9 unit check the individual's luggage.

When asked whether the holiday stress contributes to a higher number of incidents between police and passengers at the airport, she said the statistics don't flesh out a correspondence.

November is the airport's busiest month, and this year the airport saw 22 arrests — four custodial arrests (where a suspect was taken into custody) and 18 misdemeanor arrests (where a suspect is issued a misdemeanor citation). In November 2008, there were 18 arrests — 8 custodial and 10 misdemeanor arrests.

Richard said airport official see the current numbers are on par with past statistics.
The number of arrests per month was slightly higher in September and October 2009 compared with the same months in last year, according to numbers Richard provided.

In October, there were 23 arrests (8 custodial, 15 misdemeanor) up slightly from the 16 (2 custodial, 14 misdemeanor) in 2008.

The same held true for September when 30 people (7 custodial, 23 misdemeanor) were arrested, slightly higher than the 18 who were arrested in September 2008 (10 custodial, 8 misdemeanor.)

In the last fiscal year the airport totaled 90 custodial and 123 misdemeanor arrests.

16 Comments on this post:

By: Dwilso31 on 12/23/09 at 6:29

I wonder if the good judge will be on time to give him a speedy hearing.

By: sidneyames on 12/23/09 at 7:27

Well, guess Mr. Stupid will have to threaten to blow up the jail. Anyone who travels at Christmas, in the winter, during bad weather, is just banking on luck that they will arrive. Snow stops planes most of the time. Freezing rain does the same. Mr. Stupid, aka Kevin Craig Quihuis needs a course in "reality check". When did he arrive on this planet? Hasn't he heard you can't make threats at airports? HOpe it costs him a bundle. He's stupid, stupid, stupid. Needs to pay stupid tax.

By: licnstic on 12/23/09 at 7:37

hopefully the judge will order a bond he cant afford, thatll teach him to say such absurd things during these holidays at an airport. He was overbooked, so wait for the next available plane, DUH! now since hes been detained, hes missed probably 10 planes now and to request a refund takes up to 30 days. i guess by him saying he was going to blow the place up that was supposed to avail him an immediate seat to get him the hell outta there, HA!! WRONG ANSWER SUNSHINE!! now that youve messed up your own holiday plans, make the best of it in there. get in shape, write a rap album, find out the latest gossip then go tell. Make it exciting. watch out you dont drop the soap, (unless you like dropping the soap and yelling loudly to every1 that you did then in which case in point is a whole nuther conversation in itself) But whatever you do dont tell any airport you are gonna blow the joint up, geez, you moron, what did you think was going to happen?? SO....... hows the food in there??

By: frank brown on 12/23/09 at 7:57

He should not have been bumped from his flight. He should have not for one instance thought that he could get through a Christmas at an airport without major stress. The poor soul is probably a harmless man who just cracked under stress.

By: cyndietodd on 12/23/09 at 9:32

"In October, there were 23 arrests (8 custodial, 15 misdemeanor) up slightly from the 16 (2 custodial, 14 misdemeanor) in 2008.

The same held true for September when 30 people (7 custodial, 23 misdemeanor) were arrested, slightly higher than the 18 who were arrested in September 2008 (10 custodial, 8 misdemeanor.)"

Up slightly? Slightly higher? Not really.

23 is not up slightly from 16. It's almost a 50% increase.

30 is not slightly higher than 18. It's nearly double.

By: TitansFan035 on 12/23/09 at 9:38

Well at least the Idiot got a free stay in Nashvill in the jail!!

By: JKennedyMD on 12/23/09 at 9:40

I would say that he has anger issues. What do you think that he will show up in court and get bumped by another case? Perhaps time in jail will give him a chance to look at himself. He's only 26....but now it's time to grow up. Welcome to the world of airline travel!

By: trtay2004 on 12/23/09 at 10:03

I feel sorry for the guy. I've been bumped from my full purchase price ticket because the airlines overbooked and it's extremely frustrating. He should not have made a threat, but the airlines is also responsible for this. They need to evaluate their policies and how they affect us the consumer. When you only get a few days off from work in a year and they can ruin it for you, it hurts... a lot.

By: shoreg on 12/23/09 at 10:10

How sad. Just like most people he was probably stressed to the max, trying to get to family, and just cracked under the pressure of knowing he was going to get there even later. Perhaps he was returning the following day and olny had one day to be with his family. Perhaps his wife was only going to be wherever they were meeting for a very short time, and now he was going to miss seeing her alltogether. We just don't know the circumstances. . Were his choice of words great - no, certainly not. Was he dumb for saying them, yes, definitely so. Should he therefore be detained by the police? Definitely. However, you just don't know what sort of pressure he was under, and it is too bad that now he will likely miss being with whatever family he has at Christmas, and they will miss being with him.

By: busterhound333 on 12/23/09 at 10:46

give this poor guy a break its Christmas!!!...yes it was dumb to say what he said but he just got carried away and let his temper get the better of him he dont deserve to go to jail and then be robbed by the courts here at christmas just because the airline couldn't come through on their obligation's and sold more tickets than they had seats if somebody is going to really blow something up they are not going to wait till they get mad and then tell everybody by screaming it out in the middle of an airport...give me a break!!!

By: Robert1012 on 12/23/09 at 11:58

Kevin is my girlfriend's brother and we were waiting for him to arrive so all the family would be together. We came from a different state to see him and now we are heading back home and we are not going to get to. Due to the overbooking causing him to not get a seat must have frustrated him and us. We pray that he gets out of this ok and that we can see him again soon. He is not a bad guy at all and I hope the judge can see that he is truly regreting what he did.

By: doodles on 12/23/09 at 12:36

Thank you for your post, Robert. I am so sorry to hear about all the troubles your family & Kevin have gone through trying to see each other through the holidays. I am so sorry. I feel we all can get that stressed out at times, and then say things we regret later. Bless Kevin's heart. And all of you. May somehow the Spirit of the holidays help you all through this trying time, and I do believe that he will be okay and receive much love, compassion and understanding from those who are watching over him tonight. Bless you all and Great Spirit take care of Kevin and all who will be with him through the coming days...

By: WittySage on 12/23/09 at 2:00

If my little company enjoyed the same level of protection the government provides big companies I’d be rich. Remember, airlines are in fact nothing more than private, for profit companies. So this company sold the same item to several people on the off chance that one of them didn’t come by to claim their purchase. The company knowing let the customer (which is what this guy was) go to considerable inconvenience and then simply told him to piss off when he went to claim what he had already paid them for. Sure, it was silly of him to issue such a threat in today’s America, but he should have every right to express outrage at their audacity.

By: sidneyames on 12/23/09 at 4:57

if somebody is going to really blow something up they are not going to wait till they get mad and then tell everybody by screaming it out in the middle of an airport...give me a break" said by Buster hound 333.

Really Buster? Really. So why do muslims who are killing great throngs of people scream ali ackbar or what ever theyscream? When someone is irate and going off as muchas saying they are going to "bomb an airport" they have to be taken seriously. It is not a joke.

He should grow up and learn to deal with adversity and stress in a more productive way. I don't feel sorry for him. Hope he gets a max sentence. He probably scared a lot of innocent people who,like himself, were just trying to get through the stress filled, bad wweather holiday. It is not in our power to control the weather, the airlines or other people. WE CAN control our own behavior or pay the consequences. He is paying.

By: tk_mike on 12/24/09 at 12:39

this article, as well as all the rest of them about this incident, fail to mention some key points. this man is a soldier in the u.s. army. he was previously a marine. he has done 3 tours of Iraq and is soon to head to Afghanistan. this is probably his final leave before he gets deployed again.

now im not defending his actions. and i know he knows what he did was just stupid. but it seems kind of wrong to bump a vet from a flight when all he was trying to do was get home for 2 weeks to see his friends, family, and his first niece for the first time. shouldnt there be some kind of policy that ensures they have priority? after years in the military a little bit of time at home is what keeps these guys sane. i, like robert, was looking forward to seeing him and having a beer or two.

By: cashnthings on 12/29/09 at 9:11

BOMBSHELL: Evidence Clearly Indicates Staged Attack on Detroit Flight

CNN Airs Eyewitness Testimony that ‘Well-Dressed’ Indian accomplice helped Abdulmutallab board without passport and that man on plane filmed entire flight and bombing attempt
Evidence is emerging that clearly indicates Abdulmutallab was more than just a Nigerian extremist carrying out his anger through an ill-conceived plot to ignite a powdery explosive substance on-board a flight to the United States. Eyewitness testimony pointing to a man helping the accused terrorist board without a passport, along with an unusual cameraman documenting the attempted attack on board the plane raise more than red flags– they point towards an intelligence operation, run as a drill, meant to conjure up public support for a number of fronts in the continuing ‘War on Terror.’