U-Haul Renter Charged in Airport Scare

Man had abandoned a stolen rental truck at curb of Atlanta airport; dogs detected explosives inside


ATLANTA - A man who disrupted travel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport earlier this month when he abandoned a stolen rental truck at the curb has surrendered to airport police.

Anthony Jefferson, 55, said he parked the U-Haul truck at a loading curb May 1 and went into the airport to see relatives off, police said.

But the unattended truck, which contained a small amount of fireworks and prescription heart medicine containing nitroglycerine, prompted a shutdown of the airport's North Terminal after a bomb sniffing dog alerted police.

Jefferson told police he panicked when he saw police around the truck and fled, taking a commuter train to downtown Atlanta. When contacted by police later that day, Jefferson said the rental truck had been stolen.

He was charged with a misdemeanor possession of illegal fireworks and felony theft of the U-Haul, which he had rented in New Jersey for one-day, local use only. Instead, he and relatives used it to move furniture to Atlanta, police said.