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66-year-old arrested in tour bus bomb hoax

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — At around 5:15 Wednesday morning the driver of one of two Trailways buses called police to report a passenger claiming to have a bomb.

“Any call like that is considered very serious,” said Nick Christensen of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. “We deployed our sheriff`s office deputies, the Colorado State Patrol, and the bomb squad as well.”

The buses were stopped at the Larimer County Ranch where passengers were evacuated. A robot was then sent in to inspect the buses.

“The next step will be to go through the packages with a close physical inspection, and then deploy the canine to do a final confirmation that hopefully there’s no bomb on board,” Christensen said.

Authorities say the man who made the threat is 66-year-old Roland Paul Arel, a transient from Sacramento. He is now facing charges for what authorities believe was a hoax. We spoke with passengers who described the suspect’s odd behavior.

“He got up every 15-20 minutes to go to the bathroom with a white package in his hands,” said Angel Gonzalez. “He wouldn’t leave the white package alone. He told the driver, ‘Wait until 11:00 o’clock, there’s going to be a big boom’.”

“He was talking about things that he saw on the news, like the shooting in Aurora,” said Jimmy Gonzalez.

The search turned up nothing suspicious on either bus so passengers resumed their trip. These threats are taken seriously and authorities encourage people to be vigilant and report any odd behavior.

Arel is currently in the Larimer County Jail. He’ll have a bond hearing Thursday morning.