Man released from jail after partial closure of Sky Harbor Terminal 4

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John Nichols, 61 arrested for allegedly causing Sky Harbor's terminal 4 to close Friday night. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) John Nichols, 61 arrested for allegedly causing Sky Harbor's terminal 4 to close Friday night. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
John Nichols, 61 arrested Friday for allegedly causing the closure of Sky Harbor Airport. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) John Nichols, 61 arrested Friday for allegedly causing the closure of Sky Harbor Airport. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Twitter) (Source: Twitter)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Sky Harbor resumed normal operations after police determined a "suspicious" package wasn't dangerous. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sky Harbor resumed normal operations after police determined a "suspicious" package wasn't dangerous. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A California man was released from jail Saturday after police said he caused a partial closure of Sky Harbor's Terminal 4.

It all started around 3:30 p.m. on Friday when 61-year-old John Nichols made a comment to an airline staff member at the ticket counter that she felt was a threat to public safety, according to Sgt. Alan Pfohl with the Phoenix Police Department.

"He then followed by placing his suitcase on the ground and walked away," Pfohl said.

The staff member alerted police officers and Nichols was quickly arrested.

[MUGSHOT: John Nichols, 61]

Police evacuated the area and travelers went to the west side of the Terminal while police figured out what was in the suitcase. All ticket counters were closed. Some lanes outside the terminal were closed as well on Level 1 and Level 2.

"That suitcase was never a harm to anybody. It was just his personal belongings," Pfohl said.

Police gave the "all clear" around 5:30 p.m.

"I've been here about half an hour, a lot less time than a lot of people, I guess," said Larry Kirsch, trying to get on a plane to Indianapolis for a family reunion. 

Heidi Luhr said at the time was passed indoors.

"[I'm] not going back outside, it's too hot without a swimming pool," she said. 

Nichols was booked on the felony charge of creating a hoax. 

Nichols was released from jail on Saturday, according to Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, a spokesman for Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Pfohl said there were indications that alcohol may have been in the man's system.

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