Woman threatens to bomb cable building after tech doesn't show, police say

Technically Incorrect: A Nebraska woman is arrested after losing her temper so much on the phone to Time Warner Cable that she allegedly threatened to blow up TWC's building, which was then evacuated.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Mikka Phillips. Was her bomb threat serious? Does it matter? KMTV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This is a story of our times.

They are times when cable service is provided by very few companies, each of which has trouble making customers entirely happy.

They are also times when a casual piece of invective or even attempted humor, anything to do with shooting, guns, bombs and the like, can get you into terrible trouble.

These two aspects may have come together with unfortunate consequences for Mikka Phillips of Lincoln, Neb. As the local KMTV station reported, Phillips was miffed on Tuesday that she'd taken time off work to wait for Time Warner Cable.

So she reportedly called Time Warner Cable and expressed her annoyance.

The police report, obtained by Ars Technica, says that Phillips called at 9:16 a.m. She claimed her appointment had been for between 8-9am and no one had showed.

TWC's call taker, named Carie in the report, insisted that the company had tried to contact Phillips to reschedule.

This escalated into these alleged words uttered by Phillips and held on a Time Warner Cable recording: "What the f***?? I swear to God I'm blowing up that building, I swear to God!!"

This led to that building -- Time Warner Cable's offices in Lincoln -- being evacuated. It wasn't specified, the report says, where the bomb was allegedly placed.

Some might wonder whether this was because these words were uttered by an angry customer, rather than one with nefarious intentions of any kind.

I contacted Time Warner Cable to ask whether the threat felt genuine or whether it's simply standard procedure for any troubling words uttered to cause a safety-first policy. I will update, should I hear.

Phillips, reportedly a student of the local college of hair and design, has been arrested and charged with threatening the use of explosives.

She allegedly told the police that she had no intention of carrying out her threat and that she's been trying to get her life back on track.

For some, the case might resemble that of Paul Chambers. Learning that his local airport in the UK was closed due to snow, a few days before he was due to fly to see his girlfriend, he tweeted: "Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your s*** together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

He was first found guilty of uttering a terroristic threat. He finally won on appeal, but not before he'd had his house raided by police and lost his job.

What fate might now befall Phillips?