New Haven man caught with knife hidden in wheelchair at LaGuardia
EAST ELMHURST, NY – The Transportation Security Administration said one of their officers found a knife hidden inside the cushion of a wheelchair as he was screening a New Haven man at one of the airport checkpoints on Wednesday morning.
Travelers who use wheelchairs are required to undergo security screening, as are their chairs, according to the TSA.
According to the TSA, as the officer was physical screening the wheelchair, he said he found something that hidden inside the seat cushion of the wheelchair. A portion of the chair was removed to get at the item, which was a sharp folding knife.
The man told the TSA agent that he was a fisherman and that he had misplaced his fishing knife, which somehow had found its way into the cushion of the wheelchair in such a way that it was only accessible after part of the chair was taken apart.
Police gave the man a citation on a state weapons charge. After a thorough screening of the man and his chair, he was permitted to catch his flight to Atlanta.
Travelers who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from the TSA of up to $12,000.
In early February, The TSA said two people were detained by police at LaGuardia Airport after they were found to have hidden weapons on them as they attempted to get through a checkpoint to board their flight.
One man hid a straight-edged razorin the removable sole of one of his shoes. Inside the hidden compartment were the straight-edged razor and blade along with a tube of cologne, according to the TSA.
A female traveler tried to hide a straight razor blade inside a baseball cap that she was traveling with that same day. The blade was tucked behind the inside band of the hat near the size label, according tothe TSA.
The TSA said they screen approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives.