Hoax caller who shut down freeway is sentenced to nine days in jail

SAN DIEGO -- A man who admitted making a hoax bomb threat that shut down a freeway for three hours on Thanksgiving has been sentenced to nine days in jail and ordered to pay more than $8,000 in restitution.

Victor Diaz, 29, admitted making a cellphone call to his sister as she was driving northbound on Interstate 15. He told her that a bomb had been placed in her car, the CHP said.

Diaz's sister pulled to the center divider and made an emergency call. The freeway was closed for several hours while police dogs and bomb squad specialists inspected her car.

The caller had not identified himself but the phone number displayed on the sister's phone was traced to Diaz, who lives in San Diego. 

Diaz pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor charges linked to the hoax before Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon.

Shamoon revoked Diaz's probation on a previous domestic violence conviction and sentenced him to nine days in jail and 20 days of public service.

She also ordered him to pay $3,864 to the California Highway Patrol, $3,406.61 to the San Diego Police Department and $1,029.29 to the San  Diego Fire and Rescue Department, to cover their costs for responding to the hoax.

"Bomb threats are no joke," said City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, whose office handled the case. "Thankfully, this time no one was hurt, although thousands of people spent hours on Thanksgiving gridlocked on the freeway."



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