The best thing is, after he was turned away for a lack of ID and boarding pass, they watched him slip through the airport’s secure area with his badge (he’s a Delta employee) yet waited 45 minutes to call Port Authority Cops.
This isn’t to say I think we’re necessarily in danger from behavior like this or that the TSA’s job is anything more than a security puppet show.
From the New York Post, Philip Messing and Bill Sanderson write:
Marcelino Aponte, 31, had a reservation on Delta Flight 2159 from Kennedy to Orlando last night.
But Aponte had no boarding pass and no proper ID, and Transportation Security Administration screeners turned him away at a security barrier.
So Aponte — a Delta employee — used his special work ID to make his way to the plane via the airport’s secure areas, said law enforcement sources.
A security guard and another witness watched as Aponte tried to pass through a secure doorway in Delta’s Terminal 2. They noted that Aponte was carrying a small Louis Vuitton duffel bag with him.
Moments later, a TSA agent watched as Aponte tried to cleared another door, by swiping his airport work ID and then entering a PIN number onto a keypad.
Somehow, the agent lost track of Aponte.
And TSA officials waited until 45 minutes after Aponte’s security breach to call Port Authority cops.
Police were finally alerted at 7:20 p.m. — 18 minutes before his flight was scheduled to take off.
It wasn’t enough time for cops to locate the suspect. The next thing anyone knew, the Orlando-bound Boeing 737 had left the airport with Aponte strapped in to seat 3B.
Aponte never cleared airport metal detectors, and his hand baggage was never searched, said sources.
Cops picked him up when his plane got to Orlando — two and a half hours later. The kicker is that Aponte, not any TSA agents, will be charged in federal court. Aponte gamed the system but didn’t harm or endanger anyone. The blundering TSA, on the other hand, gets off scot-free.
And what does the TSA have to say about this latest breach? No comment.
Perhaps Blogger Bob will weigh in at some point and bless us with his wisdom.
(Photo: courtesy of your tax dollars)