Local News

Police: Cary MCI WorldCom Employee Threatened To Fly Plane Into Building

Posted April 5, 2002

— A Cary MCI WorldCom employee is being held on a $1 million bond after allegedly writing an e-mail, threatening to fly his plane into the facility.

Police said John Hook, 49, of Willow Springs allegedly is being charged with communicating threats. He appeared in court Thursday to hear the charges against him.

Authorities said Hook, an avid pilot who flew out of the Triple W airport in Fuquay-Varina, threatened to fly his plane into the MCI facility in Cary.

"He made a lot of enemies. He was telling obvious lies all of the time, so no one really believed him and everyone just stayed away from him," pilot Brian Baker said.

The police warrant states, "a reasonable person could believe that these threats might be carried out."

"This threat came to the corporation as a result of an e-mail. We investigated the case and we have charged him. He is in the Wake County jail," said Lt. Chris Hoina of the Cary Police Department. "This is a serious charge. It is against a corporation. We are taking it seriously, and we will continue to investigate."

Hook, a senior engineer with the company, was recently laid off along with 98 other employees after MCI WorldCom announced that it is laying off more than 3,000 people. Friends claim Hook was depressed over losing his job and he meant no harm.

Officials from MCI WorldCom declined to comment on the case because they say it is a personnel issue.

A woman who identified herself as a friend of Hook's family stood up in court and asked the judge to reduce the bond. She said Hook was a good man and dedicated employee who was depressed over losing his job and his family's financial future.

Although Hook's bond is $1 million, he faces a misdemeanor charge. The district attorney said Hook had previously been charged with stealing an airplane. Pilots who knew Hook said he would often talk about owning Russian fighter jets, but there is no evidence that he actually owns them.

Cary police are working with the FBI on the case.

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