Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Teacher Arrested After Bookmark Called Concealed Weapon

Discussion in 'Legal' started by GSB, Sep 17, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. GSB

    GSB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    800
    http://www.local6.com/news/3738411/detail.html

    Teacher Arrested After Bookmark Called Concealed Weapon

    POSTED: 6:58 am EDT September 17, 2004
    UPDATED: 10:29 am EDT September 17, 2004

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Federal officials say a school teacher charged with carrying a concealed weapon - her weighted bookmark - into Tampa International Airport may soon be cleared.

    Kathryn Harrington, 52, of Laurel, Md., was flying home from vacation Aug. 17 when airport screeners found her bookmark, an 8 1/2-inch leather strap with small lead weights at each end.

    She had carried it on several flights since the 2001 terrorist attacks, even through Tampa, but screeners had never noticed it, she said.

    This time they did, and thought it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. Airport police charged her with carrying a concealed weapon.

    "It was a bookmark," Harrington, a special education teacher, told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's not a weapon. I could not understand why I was being handcuffed and put into a police car. I cried for hours."

    Harrington, who also is a Sunday school teacher, faced a possible criminal trial, a $10,000 fine and the stigma of being deemed a security risk.

    Earlier this month, state prosecutors declined to prosecute the case. Even without a criminal charge, though, Harrington still faced a federal civil fine of up to $10,000.

    A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday that the agency is not likely to seek the fine.

    "I think at this point we've decided not to pursue a civil penalty," spokeswoman Lauren Stover said. "It will be sometime next week before all the paperwork is processed to drop the case."

    Harrington attorney W.F. "Casey" Ebsary Jr. of Tampa said he hopes travelers will take Harrington's case as a cautionary tale.

    "That will not be in my purse ever again when I fly," Harrington said of her bookmark
     
  2. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,073
    That's the fundamental problem with trying to control THINGS instead of people. Any thing can be used as a weapon. The maglite in my pocket can be a kuboton. Keys into the eye or throat. Pen into the ear or either of the last two. When's the last time someone took away your pen? The law needs to stop restricting items and start restricting behavior. It shouldn't be illegal to carry a gun (w/o a permit), it should be illegal to shoot someone. Well, it is, but that's the only part that should be illegal.

    Sorry, this subject has been bothering me for a long time...
     
  3. deej

    deej Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    (Occupied) California Republic
    Roll a newspaper or magazine on the long axis, you have an effective improvised striking weapon. Airline headset cords make good garrottes. Etc, etc.

    At this rate, we'll all have to be chemically sedated and in four-point restraints before we're allowed to board an aircraft.
     
  4. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,755
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Wow ... just take it as "a cautionary tale"?

    I think the appropriate response to this story is to take it as "an OUTRAGE! and warning of the coming police state".


    So whats next ... if you have ever had martial arts training you're not allowed on an airplane?

    :banghead:
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,272
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Other than a flight to and from Europe to visit my son and his wife, I flat-out won't fly. I won't allow myself to be subjected to this sort of nonsense.

    This particular instance is as ridiculous as taking 83-year-old Joe Foss' Medal of Honor away from him at Phoenix, because it had sharp points and could be used to harm somebody.

    Art
     
  6. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,929
    Location:
    Indiana
    "That will not be in my purse ever again when I fly," Harrington said of her bookmark.

    Damn right! That sucker would be hanging out of the copy of Unintended Consequences in my left hand.
     
  7. 444

    444 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,977
    Location:
    Ohio
    That will not be in my purse ever again when I fly," Harrington said of her bookmark.

    Typical Sheeple

    She is going to modify her behavior and continue to fly dispite all this.
    BOHICA
     
  8. HankB

    HankB Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,226
    Location:
    Central Texas
    The best story was about the alert screener who spotted and tried to confiscate a shuriken, or throwing star, from a passenger. It was concealed in a wallet, and our intrepid screener tore it out, all in the interest of security.

    Thing is, the "shuriken" turned out to be a star-shaped BADGE belonging to an off-duty police officer. :rolleyes:

    More and more, I'm convinced the inmates really ARE running the asylum.
     
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    Actually, those would make surprisingly effective weapons. Like a sap.

    Of course, it would be a piece of cake to fashion an even more impressive sap in the jet's bathroom using a sock and a lead object d'art.

    As was pointed out above, this is what happens when you focus on OBJECTS not PEOPLE.
     
  10. wasrjoe

    wasrjoe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Arizona
    Well, she was a damn special ed teacher, what do you expect? All that bad karma had to catch up to her somewhere. Greedy bastige.





    Wait, what?
     
  11. GSB

    GSB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    800
    No, not really. If they are like the ones I've seen, they have far too little weight in them to be very effective as anything other than a bookmark.
     
  12. Atticus

    Atticus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Ohio
    "At this rate, we'll all have to be chemically sedated and in four-point restraints before we're allowed to board an aircraft."

    That pretty much describes me at take off anyway LOL.
    :cool:
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    The one I remember seeing had balls about the size of OO buckshot at each end, and even at that size they can be really nasty. Tie some buckshot on a fishing line and give yourself a light smack in the back of the head--it has a real impact to it. (This is the kind of thing I do with my spare time :D )

    Is it silly? Yes. But no more silly than taking box cutters and small knives.
     
  14. joab

    joab Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,830
    Location:
    Ocoee, Fla
    She should wait for all the chrhes and civil penalties to be dismissed, as proof that this whole thing was bogus. That way maybe TSA could hace a cautionary tale to take for themselves.
    Has there ever been a lawsuit based on this kind of mistake or do people usually just decide to take extra vasoline with them next time they travel

    The bookmarks I've seen that fit this description have two very small weights about the size of fishing sinkers or maybe .32 slugs attached to about a 6" strap the thickness of the skin on a calf skin wallet.
    These are not heavy weights attached to a substantial strap of leather Getting hit by one would definitely be irritating but certainly would not pose any threat of serous baodily injury they're no more dangerous than ,say,,nail clippers
     
  15. joab

    joab Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,830
    Location:
    Ocoee, Fla
    Actually I just looked them up and they do look amazingly like a small sap.
    I'll have to to Borders to see exactly how big they are
    [​IMG]
     
  16. sendec

    sendec member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    913
    I wonder...

    If TSA screeners have any interest in self defense and martial arts. Look on those forums and you'll find thread after thread on improvised weaponry and flying, what to take, what to make, etc, etc.....Might this screener have been thinking outside the box? Might this special ed teacher be a little more aware and astute than she let on? Sure I can use a minimag or a Surefire light as a kubaton, do you think i'd tell the screener that? Do ya think they may figure stuff like that out, too?
     
  17. SDC

    SDC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,116
    Location:
    People's Republic of Canada
    Why not a sock and a pocketful of loose change (or are they taking THAT away too)?
     
  18. LAK

    LAK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,487
    Anyone on an airplane wants a weighted bookmark all they have to do is take off a stocking or sock and fill the end with small change or something similar.

    They going to arrest people wearing socks with small change in their pockets as they board planes?

    Hey, SDC took the words right out of my mouth :)
     
  19. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,746
    Location:
    Oregon, in the Willamette Valley
    Hmm,

    Funny thing. I was at Barnes and Noble about a week ago, and saw one of these for the first time. My very first thought was,"That'd be great to carry around as a makeshift sap!"

    Who knew?
     
  20. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    Could be a sap I guess, if it wasn't in a 52 yr old lady's hand!

    BOHICA indeed.
     
  21. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,279
    Location:
    Southern NH
    My belt, with the metal part extended, would make a nasty whip-like weapon.
     
  22. joab

    joab Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,830
    Location:
    Ocoee, Fla
    Anybody ever see the movie Bad Boys
    Remeber the scene where Penn put soda cans in a pillow case. Modify that to one of those airline soda cans in a gym sock
     
  23. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,592
    Location:
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    And the TSA bashing goes on ...

    ... at least it's not LE-bashing ...
    Those folks have a crappy job. Would any of you do what they do for the crappy wages they get? Again, I submit: let's just do away with ALL airport/airline security because it inconveniences people and sometimes mistakes are made.
     
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,272
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Well, Old Dog, I guess I look at it a bit differently. Before 9/11, airline passengers "knew" that if they followed a hijacker's orders, the odds were that nothing bad would happen.

    Now, if a highjacker without a gun tries to comandeer an airplane, he's probably gonna die. So he cuts a stew's throat. so? That's gonna stop you from trying to kill him? Our fearless leaders don't have a clue about how the attitude of travellers has changed, and view you as an incompetent, helpless little baby.

    Bomb-snioffing is a different matter, and Ihave no problem with that. It's the ridiculous stuff like a tiny plastic pistol on a keychain, or medals or cop-badges, etc., being verboten. The lady's bookmark could inflict pain, but to be used as a threat to take over an airplane? Duh? Is there no difference between minor injury potential and the reality of a deadly device?

    Sure, I understand about improvised weapons. I carry a ballpoint pen with an extra-fine point for just that possible need; I might need to autograph an eye. I also think in terms of pushing a lit cigarette in somebody's face or eye, if needs must.

    Two facets to this: First, the ideas for rules and regs from On High. Second, the absence of any common sense about using judgement, down in the lower levels of the system.

    If a job's all that crappy, why are they in that job? If that's as good a job as they can get, how can they be trusted at all to do anything right? You can't have it both ways.

    So, I won't fly.

    Art
     
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,632
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    Talking about controlling things instead of people, there as that poor (sarcasm) lady in Illinois who was arrested for selling paperweigths, then it was determined she had an unlicensed gun which brought additional charges. Her paperweights, by the way, were brass knuckles.

    Art, you may be right in that prior to 9/11, if you followed the hijacker's orders, things might work out. Of course, that was purely naive reasoning here in the US and not reasoning that really applied very well outside of our borders.

    And yes, there are all sorts of weapons available on a plane to be used against hijackers. Some people realize this, some don't. Similarly, there are all sorts of things to be used as weapons all around us all the time. I cringe every time I read a post here at THR or on TFL where people refer to not being able to have a gun on their person as being 'defenseless.' Talk about a defeatist attitude.

    The folks who died in the Penn. crash on 9/11 did things right, as far as I am concerned. The apparently used their numbers and what they had to effect an attempt at taking the flight back over. If I am going to die, I would rather it be while fighting for my life rather than at the hand of someone flying me into a building.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page