Police Evacuate Reno Airport Terminal, Disarm Pipe Bomb Found in Trash Can

Special to The Times

Sheriff’s bomb squad specialists Thursday disarmed a small pipe bomb found in a trash can outside Reno Cannon International Airport.

A janitor heard a ticking sound and found the device, wrapped in plain brown paper, shortly before 3 p.m. Police evacuated nearby ticket counters and rerouted auto traffic around the terminal.

Police officers and Washoe County sheriff’s bomb disposal experts used a water cannon mounted on a fire truck to break the package apart and then rendered it harmless, a Reno police spokesman said.

Though about 200 people were evacuated from the terminal, no flights were delayed and passengers were allowed to purchase tickets at the gates, airport officials said. Shortly before the device was uncovered, an editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal said he received a phone call from a man speaking with a Middle Eastern accent who said his name was Roger Hemahidin.


Joe Howry, assistant city editor, said the caller claimed that he had placed the bomb at the airport and had already telephoned the FBI.

Howry said he received another call an hour later, apparently from the same man. This time the caller said he would leave a key for Howry at the front desk of the Reno Riviera hotel. The key was to a locker at the city’s Greyhound station and inside the locker was a note explaining the airport bomb, the caller said.

Howry said the caller told him he was a trained expert in demolitions and described what he had left at the airport as “a simple device.” The caller gave no reason for his actions, Howry said. The caller said he was just passing through the Reno airport when he left the bomb there, Howry reported.

Police, fearing a second bomb, evacuated the bus terminal, picked up the key from the hotel across the street and found the note in the locker.


The note was turned over to the FBI office here. FBI investigators had no comment on its contents.