When Minnesotans are flying out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, they know they are in for long lines, intrusive body scans and potentially a pat down. While many of us feel frustrated by the amount of security at airports these days, most of us know that it is not a good idea to make a joke about a bomb. Unfortunately, one young man, probably overwhelmed by all of the security, told a Transportation Security Administration agent that he had a bomb in his pocket.
It was a joke, but now he is facing a federal criminal case.
The 26-year-old man had been flying home after he was visiting his sick grandmother when he was pulled out of the security line to go through additional screenings by a TSA agent. The agent took him aside and asked if he had anything in his pickets, and it is at this point that he made his joke.
The TSA agent did not find it funny and the man was arrested on the spot. The area was evacuated and there were bomb-sniffing dogs brought to the scene to determine if he was telling the truth. While they never found a bomb, the young man was carted off to jail and only released by providing a guarantee that he would show up for court. Now, he is facing serious criminal charges and a harsh sentence for a joke.
Whether the young man will fight his charges and hire a criminal defense lawyer to argue that making a joke is not crime remains to be seen.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Charlotte man released after arrest at Connecticut airport,” Cleve R. Wootson, Aug. 7, 2013