Timothy Hershman Plea for False Hijacking ReportUPDATED 7:31 AM HST Jun 14, 2013Video Transcript
bad... Alerting the feds to a HIJACKER on a flight from the Big Island to Seattle .. He named a SPECIFIC passenger... But it just wasn't true! KITV4's Lara Yamada is back from court with why he did it - and what happens next. 58-year-old Timothy Hershman - who lived in Kona at the time - says he was angry at his tenant for throwing fish guts in his truck bed. So on January 17th, he called the FBI, gave them the name of his tenant, and said he was quote: "a dangerous man who was going to hijack a plane from Kona to Alaska." That triggered a major response... even bringing in fighter jets based in Portland, Oregon. Pilots escorted the plane and its passengers to Seattle. Hershman's tenant ... stunned.... when agents pulled him out for questioning. Passengers had no idea WHAT was going on. "THE ONLY THING I SAW WAS WHEN THE POLICE WAS ON THE AIRPLANE AND ASKED THE LADY NEXT TO HIM TO GET UP AND THEY TOOK HIM OUTSIDE." NATS SOT: "WHY DID YOU DO IT? OK, THANK YOU." Hershman pleaded guilty to one federal count of "Airplane Piracy" today. The first thing Hershman told a judge: "I'm sorry. It was stupid. I'm guilty." His tenant quickly made the connection to Hershman when he found out the call was made from a payphone near a bar - that he said - Hersman frequented. The judge let Hershman stay out on bail. He's since moved to Waianae.... and as you saw there, he walks slowly with a cane, he's got some medical issues to take care of. He faces up to 5 years in prison, and some heafty fines -- possibly including restitution to the US government. Which could be a serious bill. Hershman will be sentenced in October.