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Public Safety

Man Who Shut Down Freeway With Thanksgiving Bomb Hoax Fined $8,300

A San Diego man whose prank phone call shut down a major highway and inconvenienced drivers for three hours on Thanksgiving Day admitted violating the law and was ordered to pay $8,300 in restitution to local public safety agencies, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Monday.

"Bomb threats are no joke, and, in fact, violate the law," Goldsmith said. "Thankfully, this time no one was hurt, although thousands of people spent hours on Thanksgiving gridlocked on the freeway and police and firefighters were diverted from legitimate emergencies."

Last Nov. 28, Victor Manuel Diaz called his younger sister twice as she was driving on Interstate 15, heading to a family gathering in Escondido. Disguising his voice, Diaz said there was a bomb in her car and it was about to explode.


Diaz's sister pulled over to the center divider on northbound I-15 near Miramar Way and called 911.

After police determined there was no bomb in the vehicle, Diaz was called to the scene for questioning and arrested for the bomb hoax.

Prosecutors in the City Attorney's Office determined that Diaz was on probation for a domestic violation conviction and sought to revoke that probation.

Last Friday, Diaz admitted that he had failed to remain law abiding while on probation.

Judge Polly Shamoon revoked Diaz's probation and reinstated it, sentencing him to nine days in custody and 20 days of public work service.


Diaz was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,864 to the California Highway Patrol, $3,406 to the San Diego Police Department and $1,029 to the San Diego Fire Department.

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