|by Sean O'Neill||Airport Check-in, Questions and Opinions, Safety and Security||131|
On Friday police tracked down Haisong Jiang, the man who allegedly caused Newark Airport to close a week ago when he walked the wrong way through a checkpoint to give his girlfriend a goodbye kiss. The TSA guard on duty wasn't paying attention. (We've posted a video of the incident, below.)
Jiang is just a grad student without any ties to terror, say news accounts. Police charged him in municipal court with defiant trespass. This "disorderly person's offense" carries a maximum fine of $500 and no jail time, according to a Rutgers law professor quoted by The Record.
Senator Frank Lautenberg said, in the words of the New York Times, that "he was hoping that the United States attorney's office would consider bringing more severe federal charges." He also hoped that officials would revoke Jiang's student visa and deport him to China, where he's a citizen.
So how should Jiang be treated?
On the one hand, his actions apparently prompted a security scramble, which trapped about 1,600 people at the airport for about six hours while the TSA re-screened everyone. Flights were delayed for multiple hours in a ripple effect nationwide. More than $1 million was lost by the airport and the affected airlines.
On the other hand, he proved his love to his girlfriend, and he didn't mean anyone any harm.
What do you think? Should the culprit be given…
• A stern talking to by a municipal court judge.
• A $500 fine.
• A night in jail.
• A month in jail.
• A month in federal jail.
• Stuck on a plane on a tarmac alone with Frank Lautenberg overnight with no food or water.
Sound off by posting a comment below!
You can watch the trespassing incident on this video below. (Sadly, it was not a security camera that caught this clip. The TSA's security cameras had been broken for some time. It was a Continental Airlines camera that just happened to be pointed in this direction and recording.)