Sibling ‘Bomb’ Prank Shuts Down San Diego Freeway

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

One brother’s bomb prank on his little sister shut down Interstate 15 in San Diego Thursday afternoon, bringing Thanksgiving travelers to a standstill.

Police say the 28-year-old man, who has not been identified, called his 24-year-old sister from an unfamiliar number while she was driving with a friend. He disguised his voice and told her there was a bomb in her car.

His sister pulled over near Miramar Way and immediately dialed 911, according to Lt. Lorenzo Ruano of the California Highway Patrol.

California Highway Patrol, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Bomb Squad, and other agencies shut down the freeway in both directions at 2:45 p.m.

Police dogs were brought to inspect the vehicle and investigators said they behaved in a way that suggested there could be a bomb inside. Eventually authorities found no bomb.

During the search, the woman’s brother called her and apologized for the prank call. Ruano said the woman was crying, and Highway Patrol believes she had no idea the bomb threat was a hoax.

Authorities had her brother travel to the scene for questioning.

He was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on unspecified felony charges.

Ruano told CBS News that practical jokes of this magnitude are never funny.

“It’s just a message for everybody out there,” said Ruano, “it’s not all fun and games, you think, you never know what it’s going to lead to.”

All lanes and ramps on I-15 were reopened by 6:10 p.m.

Sources: CBS News, NBC San Diego