LaGuardia fake bomber Scott McGann's mom says he's sick and needs help, not crazy
By Henrick Karoliszyn, Kenny Porpora and Samuel Goldsmith
Daily News Writers
Updated Monday, August 3rd 2009, 9:19 AM
Scott McGann spent a night at Rikers, but went to Bellevue Hospital to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
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The distraught mother of would-be LaGuardia bomber Scott McGann defended her mentally ill son Sunday night.
"He's not a kook," Margie Jones told the Daily News, barely able to speak through her tears.
She said her 32-year-old son suffers from catatonic schizophrenia - a form of the disease that leaves victims in a psychotic state where they're unable to speak, respond or even move.
"I love my son," said Jones, a school psychologist who lives three hours north of San Francisco in Willits, a town of 5,000.
The heartsick mother had planned to see McGann this past weekend after buying him a ticket to fly to California some time before Saturday's airport scare.
Instead,McGann took a phony bomb to LaGuardia that shut it down for several hours and forced the evacuation of thousands of panicked travelers.
A heroic Port Authority cop wrestled McGann to the ground when he noticed wires sticking out of his bag and what appeared to be a detonator in his hand. The bomb turned out to be fake.
McGann spent the night at Rikers Island and was moved Sunday to Bellevue Hospital, where he'll undergo a psychiatric evaluation ahead of a Thursday court appearance.
He is charged with placing a false bomb, placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in a mass transportation facility, and making a terrorist threat.
A computer programmer and artist, McGann was described by friends as a kind and pensive person who peddled his handmade goods in Union Square.
"He was a friendly guy who worked a lot with skateboarders," said William Saar, 50, who sells used books in Union Square.
"He didn't seem like the type of guy to do something like this," Saar said.
Without treatment, schizophrenia can cause delusions, hallucinations and violent outbursts, experts say. Episodes can last anywhere from minutes to years.
Doctors often struggle to keep schizophrenics on their medication, which can be extremely effective when taken regularly. It was unclear if McGann was getting treatment before he snapped Saturday.
Christopher Gause, 20, another artist who sells in Union Square, said McGann made sculptures out of scrap metal.
"There was some spirituality he found in his art," Gause said. "He was very calm, very friendly, and smiled."
Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg praised the Port Authority cop who put his "life on the line" to take down McGann.
Even though Saturday's bomb scare turned out to be a hoax, Officer Robert Keane told News columnist Michael Daly he believed it was the real thing.
"They don't have the luxury of second-guessing," the mayor said. "They've got to act decisively and put their lives on the line. He certainly has my admiration."
At LaGuardia on Sunday, things were getting back to normal. The only thing causing delays was the heavy rain.
"It's not going to stop people from traveling," Dallas resident Marty Martinez said of Saturday's scare. "You just hope there's enough security to keep people at bay."With
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