A 29 year-old New York man was arrested this weekend after attempting to board a flight from JFK airport with this collection of scissors, bottle openers, matches, lighters, and mostly trashy knives in his carry-on bag. He’s currently in jail on weapons charges, but I think a mental evaluation is probably in order.
Not because knives on a plane are necessarily a threat to public safety, but because anybody willing to be seen in public with edged junk like this definitely has issues.
From Fox News:
A man has been arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport after authorities discovered a trench knife and several other blades in his carry-on bag.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says Timothy Schiavo Jr. was charged Saturday with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
They say the 29-year-old man from Patchogue, N.Y., was also carrying several scissors, a number of lighters and matches. A trench knife has metal knuckles on the handle of the blade.
I think Fox News is being a bit too polite to that folding novelty in the photo by calling it a ‘trench knife.’ It’s a POS, more likely to amputate its users fingers than injure anyone else. The only knife that poses a threat to aircraft safety is that M7 bayonet at lower right. Unlike any pocketknife, it has the length and strength to stab through a cabin window and depressurize the plane.
But let’s look at the bigger picture. Thousands of passengers accidentally leave pocketknives (or scissors, or kitchen silverware) in their carry-on bags every day, and it’s SOP for them to either forfeit the knives or pay $15 to mail them to themselves at home.
Why did Schiavo win a free trip to the hoosegow, and did police make the right call in arresting him? In this unusual case I’d have to say yes, but not because there were knives in his bag.
Despite Fox News’ headline, Schiavo’s knives aren’t really the big worry here. The biggest threat is all of those matches and fueled cigarette lighters, which could start a big fire very quickly and bring down the entire plane.