Threats to a Ferry — What’s the Penalty?

State — and perhaps federal — authorities will be investigating who called 911 anonymously to report a threat to bomb a Washington State ferry today.

That doesn’t mean the person would be facing any criminal charges. In fact, State Trooper Krista Hedstrom notes, authorities are glad the call was made in the name of safety.

“We definitely would like to talk to that person,” she said of the 911 caller.

But there were two men, supposedly, that spurred the 911 caller to pick up the phone. They too, may have heard a viable threat — or perhaps they were behind a hoax.

We may never know.

But if it was a hoax, what is real is the impact on the lives it disrupted, not to mention the manpower cost to get the Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad out there to investigate it.

Washington State law reflects that: “Threats to Bomb” is a class B felony. And, since a ferry was diverted, there are federal felony laws concerning disruption of a maritime vessel that may be even harsher than the state’s statute.

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