Phoenix man arrested after bomb scare on Greyhound bus

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Ernesto Lopez Rodriguez By Jennifer Thomas Ernesto Lopez Rodriguez By Jennifer Thomas

CORDES LAKES, Ariz. -- A man was arrested after reportedly claiming there was a bomb on a bus traveling from Phoenix to Las Vegas early Friday morning.

At approximately 12:40 a.m., Yavapai County sheriff's deputies responded to a disorderly person call at the Chevron Gas Station on Interstate 17 in Cordes Lakes.

According to sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn, a Greyhound bus driver spoke to deputies regarding concerns about a male passenger who carried a cane and claimed there was a bomb on the bus. Comments from the man alarmed the driver and passengers.

The man was later identified as Ernesto Lopez-Rodriguez, 45, of Phoenix.

The driver told deputies that after mentioning the bomb, Rodriguez walked to the front of the bus and placed a cell phone on the dashboard. When the driver noticed the cell phone was smoking, he stopped the bus and threw the phone outside.

D'Evelyn said Rodriguez exited the bus, immediately retrieved portions of the phone including the battery, and boarded the bus again. The driver continued for a brief distance before stopping at the Chevron station to await deputies.

According to D'Evelyn, as deputies conducted their investigation, Rodriguez began walking swiftly toward the bus and would not stop as directed. Deputies forcibly detained Rodriguez and eventually placed him in handcuffs. While inside the patrol vehicle, Rodriguez attempted to kick out a passenger window.

A Chevron employee told deputies that prior to their arrival, Rodriguez had hidden a cell phone battery among a stack of newspapers inside the store. After seeing this action and due to concerns about his behavior, Rodriguez was asked to leave. The employee recovered the cell phone battery and gave it to the deputies.

Deputies checked the bus, recovered Rodriguez's property and found no evidence of a bomb involving the cell phone components or other items on the bus.

Rodriguez was taken to the Camp Verde Detention Center and booked on charges including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He remains in custody on $5,000 bond.