T.J. Miller, who appeared in HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and also in the movie “Ready Player One,” has been arrested on federal charges after making up a story last month about a woman having a bomb on an Amtrak train heading to Connecticut, a U.S. Attorney’s spokesman said Tuesday.
Todd “T.J.” Miller, 36, of New York, N.Y., was charged with intentionally conveying to law enforcement false information about an explosive device on a train, Thomas Carson said. He was arrested Monday night at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, N.Y., and released on $100,000 bail after his appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Haven.
According to the criminal complaint, the actor called 911 on March 18 while on an Amtrak train in New Jersey and provided a description of a woman on the train who he said “has a bomb in her bag.” He said she kept checking her bag without taking anything out and seemed to want to get off the train and leave her bag behind.
By the time Amtrak investigators learned of the call and stopped the train — which Miller identified as Amtrak train 2256 — it had left Penn Station in New York City and was in Connecticut. The train was stopped in Westport, passengers were told to get off, and members of the Connecticut State Police bomb squad searched the train but found no explosives.
Amtrak police also stopped a second train, Amtrak 2258, which police said is the train on which Miller actually was riding before he got off in New York. There was no bomb on that train, either, although police found the woman who matched his description of the woman with the bomb, the complaint said.
Investigators learned that Miller seemed intoxicated when he boarded the train, where he drank two glasses of wine and two double scotch and soda drinks, police said. An attendant in the first class car also told them that Miller was involved in a “screaming match” with the woman, which included profanity, but the woman denied having had a loud argument, police said.
The female passenger, who police said smelled as if she, too, had been drinking, told investigators Miller had been admonished by the attendant for talking too loudly on his cellphone. He also made an unwelcome comment about her hair, after which she shot him a dirty look, she said.
Investigators also learned that Miller had been ordered off the train at Penn Station because of his intoxication.
Miller had a chance to retract what he said in his initial 911 call about the woman with the bomb when an Amtrak police officer called his cellphone after Miller got off the train. But Miller went on to provide more detail about the woman, although he changed his description of her hair from brown to red, according to police. He also said, “This is the first time I’ve ever made a call like this. … I am worried for everyone on that train. Someone has to check that lady out,” police said.
The false report inconvenienced 1,145 rail travelers, according to the FBI agent who wrote the criminal complaint. The two trains that were searched were delayed more than an hour, and other trains were delayed as well, the complaint said.
Besides “Silicon Valley” and the recently released film “Ready Player One,” he also appears in “Deadpool,” “Office Christmas Party” and “The Emoji Movie.”