A marketing director for Santa Clara-based Nvidia is facing a misdemeanor charge after he allegedly told a flight attendant at San Francisco International Airport that he had a bomb in his jacket, prosecutors said Monday.
Yushing Lui, 47, pleaded not guilty in San Mateo Superior Court to a false bomb threat charge stemming from an incident on a Cathay Pacific Airways plane before takeoff Thursday.
Lui had taken his seat in the business class section on board an aircraft headed to Hong Kong, where he lives with his family, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
As a flight attendant was taking Lui's jacket, she asked whether it had anything important in the pockets, to which he replied: "I have a bomb in my jacket," prosecutors said.
The flight attendant backed away and the staff on board called San Francisco Airport Police, which immediately responded and did not find a bomb.
Police arrested Lui and booked him into County Jail. Under police interrogation, Lui denied saying anything about a bomb, and said he only told the flight attendant "something to the effect that he did not have a million dollars inside" the jacket, prosecutors said.
Lui comes to the Bay Area to work roughly every six months and speaks fluent English, said chief deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Even if the comment had been a joke, such a remark on board an aircraft can lead to prosecution, he said.
Lui was free on $10,000 bail after Judge Beth Freeman denied his attorney's motion for release without bail. His trial is scheduled for March 8.
Mike Rosenberg covers San Mateo, Burlingame, Belmont and transportation. Contact him at 650-348-4324.