A woman was arrested by state police at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Friday after she was found with a fake bomb, state police said.
Massachusetts state police said Star Simpson, 19, approached an airport information desk with a computer circuit board, wiring and Play-Doh in her hands and asked about an arriving passenger, said State Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport.
“She claims that it was just art and she was proud of the art and wanted to display it. I am not sure why she had the Play-Doh in her hands. She could not explain that,” Pare said.
Pare said the device had wires connected to a battery, allowing it to light up.
Massachusetts Port Authority officials notified state police about 8 a.m. and troopers found Simpson outside Terminal C. Police determined that the device was a fake after her arrest.
“I’m shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport in this time. We’re currently under Orange, the threat is there against aviation and we did have MP5 officers respond to the scene immediately,” Pare said.
Pare said state police were ready to use lethal force if Simpson resisted arrest.
“She followed instructions as was required by the State Police and within minutes the (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit found that it was an innocuous device and we took her into custody. Thankfully, because she followed instructions as was required, she ended up in a cell as opposed to the morgue. Had she not followed instructions, deadly force may have been used,” Pare said.
Simpson, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore from Lahaina, Hawaii, was looking for information about an inbound flight from Oakland that her boyfriend, Tim Anderson, was aboard.
Pare said Simpson took a subway to the airport, but he didn’t know if she was wearing the device at that time.
Police said after her arrest, Simpson answered questions rationally and was upset to be in custody, but did not appear to understand the seriousness of what she had done.
Simpson was arraigned on charges of possession of a hoax device in East Boston District Court on Friday. Assistant District Attorney Wayne Margolis recommended that she be held on $5,000 cash bail, but Judge Paul Mahoney set bail at $750 and ordered her to return to court on Oct. 29. Simpson was represented by attorney Ross Schreiber.
According to MIT’s Web site, Simpson is a member of the school’s swimming and diving team.
On her Web site, Simpson described herself as someone who loves “crazy ideas” and has been “traveling the world and saving the planet from evil villains with my delivered-just-in-time gadgets.”
She went on to say she is an inventor, artist, engineer and student who loves to build things.