Charges: Minnesota man threatened to 'blow up' Duluth airport
A mental health screening was requested for 51-year-old Vincent Muccio, who was previously committed for treatment needs.
DULUTH — A Virginia, Minnesota, man was arraigned Thursday, Feb. 2, on three felony charges after allegedly threatening to shoot several people at the Duluth International Airport and "blow the place up."
Police said Vincent Muccio, 51, appeared to be experiencing a "mental health issue" when he made the series of threats Tuesday morning, Jan. 31. As he made his first court appearance, St. Louis County prosecutor Nichole Carter requested that Muccio receive a screening for a potential mental health evaluation.
A criminal complaint states that Muccio arrived at the airport around 4:45 a.m. and inquired about purchasing airfare. He later bought a ticket to Hawaii with an 11 a.m. departure.
The complaint states that Muccio began walking around the airport and eventually approached an employee at Avis Car Rental. He asked about their cars, left briefly, and returned. He then told the worker that he was waiting for a woman to arrive on a 10 a.m. flight and "if she doesn't come off (the flight), I'm going to kill you and her," gesturing toward an employee at the Budget Rent a Car counter.
The Budget employee later told police that Muccio approached her and "stated that he was going to kill everyone in the airport and was going to blow the place up," according to the complaint. The rental car employees and other airport personnel told officers that they feared for their safety and felt that airport security was in jeopardy.
Officers arrived on the scene and set up a perimeter, but Muccio had already left the premises. He returned while the initial investigation was underway and was taken into custody without incident. He was unarmed.
In a statement, Muccio allegedly admitted to making the threats but claimed he was kidding.
Court records show Muccio was placed under a six-month civil commitment for mental health treatment in Virginia in 2014. His only criminal conviction appears to be a misdemeanor disorderly conduct offense in 2013.
Muccio is charged with three counts of threats of violence. Judge Dale Harris ruled that he could be released with conditions or by posting a $75,000 bond. His next court appearance was set for Feb. 28.