Plane Bomb Hoax Victim Speaks Out - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Plane Bomb Hoax Victim Speaks Out

Christopher Shell was pulled from his flight on his 29th birthday



    Speaking from jail, a victim of a bomb hoax said his life was turned upside down on his birthday last September. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012)

    In an exclusive interview with NBC 5, the victim of an airplane bomb hoax says his life was turned upside down on his 29th birthday.

    Christopher Shell is currently behind bars in the Collin County Detention Center because of an outstanding warrant for a possession of marijuana charge.

    On Sept. 6, Shell, who is originally from Fort Worth, boarded a plane bound for DFW from his current home of Philadelphia.

    Not long after take off, passengers were told the aircraft was experiencing mechanical issues.

    Once the plane touched down, Shell said he saw armed federal agents coming on board.

    "I'm looking up and down the plane for someone who looks like a terrorist,” he said. “I said, I hope they're not here because of that stupid possession of marijuana charge I had back in Texas. And I thought, why would they bring down a plane for something like that?”

    “I'm looking up and down the plane and they've got their guns drawn and everything. I'm listening to music and the next thing I know, they turn - all of them with their guns drawn and lasers pointed at me and they're like, 'Put your hands up! Put your hands up!' I'm like, 'What? I didn't do anything.' I freak out and accidentally drop my phone. I go to reach for my phone and apparently they almost shot me because you can detonate a bomb from your phone.”
    According to NBC News, Shell was the victim of a hoax by an acquaintance.

    The other man, 26-year-old Kenneth W. Smith, Jr. of Philadelphia, is reportedly the current boyfriend of Shell’s ex-girlfriend. Smith is accused of using a payphone to make a phony phone call where he accused Shell of having an explosive devices on board the U.S. Airways flight.

    NBC News reported Smith said the call was retaliation, because Shell posted a compromising picture of Smith’s girlfriend to Facebook.
    During his interview with NBC 5, Shell disputed some of that story, but declined to elaborate. However, he did speak about how his life has been turned upside down by the accusations.
    “I was on pace to become a regional director of marketing and sales at my company by the end of this year, meaning I would have had a business up and running ... have a little more financial freedom to do the things we all want to do in life and enjoy,” he said. “That was all taken away from me because someone wanted to make a phone call."

    Shell said he’s planning on serving time in jail until his drug possession charge is sorted out.

    If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and possible restitution.