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Motorist breached McCarran security, made bomb threat, police say

Updated December 9, 2021 - 10:08 pm

A motorist rammed his way through McCarran International Airport security gates Wednesday night, then put on a clown mask and declared he had a bomb before surrendering to officers, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Matthew Ray Hancock, 36, remained at the Clark County Detention Center on counts of making a false terrorist threat, causing dispersal with a hoax substance and trespassing, Las Vegas Justice Court logs show. He was “disruptive” and refused to appear in court Thursday afternoon, when a judge set bail at $150,000.

In an interview, Hancock told investigators he was “Tik Tok famous” after he was stopped by officers a couple weeks prior for drifting a limousine on the Strip, according to his arrest report.

Police first responded about 6:45 p.m. to a report of a car that was “performing donuts” in the parking lot of an air carrier at 105 E. Reno Ave.

The call was soon updated, noting that the Lincoln Continental had breached inner and outer airport security gates at McCarran’s north side and was driving among aircraft, police said.

When airline employees confronted him, he stepped out of the car, put on the mask and yelled that he had a bomb and was “going to blow this place up,” police said.

The premises were evacuated as Hancock drove away before being stopped officers, who promptly took him into custody, police said.

Hancock told officers that there was a shotgun and a “gasoline device” in the car, and that he intended to steal a plane to fly to Area 51 “to look for aliens.”

That triggered a mass response, which included a bomb squad, police said. Air traffic control was “altered” to “protect life and property,” police said.

Investigators eventually spotted what looked like an oxygen tank and a fire extinguisher in the car. They later declared it a “hoax” device, noting that the cylinder had a pressure gauge, Christmas lights and “metal objects” attached that made it look like a bomb. No guns were found.

Hancock made other nonsensical comments when questioned by police, including that he had high-security clearance, that he was in the mob, and that someone owed him millions of dollars, according to his arrest report.

On Nov. 11, Hancock was cited for misdemeanor reckless driving, court records show. That same day, Metro took to Twitter to share a video of a limousine driving recklessly on the Strip, skidding through lanes, barely missing other vehicles.

The video was viewed 25,000 times on Twitter, and received over 3,600 reactions on Tik Tok.

Should he post bond, Hancock will be put on high-monitoring house arrest and required to stay out of trouble, court records show. He is next due in court Tuesday.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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