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Bomb Scare with NFL Game

Lions fan admits calling in bomb threat during team’s playoff loss to Saints

The FBI is investigating a fan who threatened to blow up the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans during the Saints’ NFC playoff victory over the Detroit Lions on Jan. 7, The Times-Picayune is reporting.

Shawn Payton, 34 of Jackson, Mich., is reportedly wanted on suspicion of phoning in a bomb threat during the Saints’ second-half comeback, a game New Orleans won 45-28.

The newspaper reports the threat was called in to the Superdome’s Gate F reception desk at 9:12 p.m., according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court on Wednesday. That was not long after Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Brees for a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.

“I will blow up your building,” a man said after confirming that he had reached the Superdome. The newspaper reports a second call came at 10:03 with a message intended for Saints coach Sean Payton, according to the FBI affidavit.

“Hi, I want you to relay a message to the sideline. If your stupid Southern team keeps winning, there will be reper … severe consequences. OK?”

FBI agents reportedly used phone records to trace the calls to Shawn Payton. He was interviewed by a Detroit-based FBI agent and admitted to placing the calls after hearing them.

“Payton stated he never meant any harm in making the calls and would never do anything to hurt anyone,” the affidavit said, according to the newspaper. “Payton relayed some ongoing personal problems, saying his anger got the better of him while watching the game.”

Payton said alcohol wasn’t a factor in the event and was sorry for his actions.

“I’m not a bad person,” Payton told the newspaper. “I was just so proud of the Lions finally making the playoffs for the first time in God knows how long. I got caught up in the heat of the moment and I seriously, highly regret making those calls.”

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