US & Canada

Aldon Smith held after 'airport bomb threat'

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith warms up for the 49ers NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in San Francisco 10 November 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Aldon Smith returned to the San Francisco 49ers in November after a stint in rehab for substance abuse

An American professional football player was arrested at Los Angeles International airport after making a bomb threat, officials have said.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, 24, made the threat after a dispute during a security screening on Sunday, police said.

The 49ers said they were "disappointed" but would not comment further.

Mr Smith took a five-game leave of absence from the team last season to attend treatment for substance abuse.

He rejoined the team on 5 November, saying he was on the path to lifelong sobriety.

On Sunday, Mr Smith was randomly selected for additional screening at the airport and "became belligerent and unco-operative", according to airport police Sgt Karla Ortiz.

Mr Smith told an airport security agent that he had a bomb before walking to the gate, she said.

When airport police officers caught up with him, Mr Smith was taken into custody.

A video of the arrest posted on gossip website shows Mr Smith arguing and swearing at airport police before being handcuffed.

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