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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch 519

Posted by timothy
from the time-enough-for-love dept.
First time accepted submitter mbeckman writes "A man was arrested at Oakland airport for having bomb-making materials. The materials? An ornate watch and extra insoles in his boots. Despite the bomb squad determining that there was no bomb, The Alameda county sheriffs department claimed that he was carrying 'potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots, which were Unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles.' The man told Transportation Security Administration officers that he's an artist and the watch is art."
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Man Arrested At Oakland Airport For Ornate Watch

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  • Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:45PM (#42014737)
    Take that Freedom and creativity!
  • Never forget... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:49PM (#42014775)

    01-31-2007 Never Forget [wikipedia.org]

    Remember kids, just don't say, look, or do anything weird and nothing will happen to you.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:50PM (#42014781) Journal

    The home the brave, where we fear unusal timepieces and footwear.

  • Aloha Snackbar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:52PM (#42014801)
    I'll reserve judgement until I see the boots and the watch.
  • Re:Moron. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saihung (19097) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:57PM (#42014849)

    I find your willingness to speculate about the motivations of a complete stranger based on no information adorable.

  • Re:materials... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rhook (943951) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:59PM (#42014869)

    I bet everyone has bomb making materials in their garage and under their sink.

  • Re:materials... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) * on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:03PM (#42014905)

    You don't need a spool of wire.

    Any wire will do, including your phone charger, or the spare cat 5 wire you always carry in your computer bag,
    earbuds for your phone, the phone itself, etc.

    ANY wire constitutes bomb making equipment.

    The fact that he was a short dude and wanted to be taller and used multiple insoles to achieve that is also
    somehow a crime.

    We still have to entertain the possibility that he got exactly what he was looking for, notoriety and fame.

    Who builds a watch with wires and "fuses" hanging out of it and then walks thru airport security?
    Really, who does that?

    Fools and idiot attention seekers. Any terrorist would be much more clever. The charges leveled are
    probably simply to hold him on till they dig through his life. When released, he will probably try to sell
    his watches to other fools based on his new found fame.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:03PM (#42014913)

    A Southern California man was arrested at Oakland International Airport after security officers found him wearing an unusual watch they said could be used to make a timing device for a bomb, authorities said Friday.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this be true of *any* watch?

    he was charged with possessing materials to make an explosive device

    So not only did he get hassled for wearing a watch that was unusual enough that the TSA noticed it, but he was arrested and charged...

    Next time I travel I'll have to make sure my watch is boring enough it doesn't get noticed so I'm not charged with "possessing materials to make an explosive device."

    obXKCD: https://xkcd.com/651/ [xkcd.com]

  • Another Moron (Score:1, Insightful)

    by NetNinja (469346) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:03PM (#42014917)

    Gee let me wear this contraption that will garner all sorts of attention.

    I can understand someones desire to express his art but to do it in an airport with TSA screeners who are basically highschool push outs is just fucking stupid.
    I guess he can express his creativity in a public holding cell, see if they give a fuck about your expressionism.

  • by stox (131684) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:16PM (#42015007) Homepage

    They let Woz through because he is a member of the 1%, normal laws do not apply to them.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:16PM (#42015011)

    Those aren't bomb materials. Those are, at best, timer-making materials and a place to conceal something.

    Yeah, sure, if the guy's got ammonium nitrate and kerosene in his carry-on, those would be bomb-making materials. Go ahead and arrest him for that.

    But if you're going to start arresting people for stuff that can be part of a bomb without actually being dangerous, you should start by taking away everyone's cell phone. Not only do they all have timer functions now, but they can, and have, been used as remote triggers.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:21PM (#42015047) Homepage

    and in retaliation they charge the guy with a real crime. He should set up a donation site so we can donate to his legal fund so he can stir up moire shit. Now for those will will spout the If you got nothing to hide... Well he had nothing to hide yet the authorities still railroaded him.

  • by Jiro (131519) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:27PM (#42015089)

    If he wanted to be a troublemaker, intentionally made a fake bomb, and got caught, "art project" is pretty much the only thing he could say that would explain why he has a fake bomb without confessing to a crime. So I'm very skeptical that it's actually an art project. Rather, he tried to troll the TSA, and he got caught; I'm surprised that he didn't add that he was just doing a social experiment.

    And in the unlikely event that he was actually doing it as an art project, it's really not unreasonable to expect the TSA to treat art projects that look like bombs as bombs. Really, switches, wires, and fuses? How many fuses are on your watch?

  • Re:materials... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:30PM (#42015109) Homepage Journal

    The only fools are the people who support the TSA and their actions. When the free thinkers are all on lockdown, there will be nobody to stand up for your right to express your opinion on issues like this.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:35PM (#42015149)

    That's what happens when you live in a fascist country.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:46PM (#42015231)

    Remember, choosing the wrong brand of watch could land you in Gitmo.

    "I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that." - Barack Obama, On CBS 60 Minutes, November 16, 2008

  • by jmcvetta (153563) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:50PM (#42015255)

    From TFA: "While no actual explosives were found, McGann was carrying potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots, which were unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles, Nelson said."

    So in other words, this guy isn't actually causing any problems at all, he's just wearing some funky shoes. And the SA consider this good reason to harass and arrest him. This is why I wear Birkenstocks + socks when I fly - afaik, no one is yet living in irrational terror of hippie sandals.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:51PM (#42015259) Homepage Journal

    I know this is headed for a -1, but when given the choice slashdot authors have always chosen the summaries that come from their buddies over everyone else. This is a tradition going right back Rob Malda himself. A summary of one of their buddies has to be pretty bad for them not to chose it over someone they don't know. It's a bit of the assholery that Slashdot was founded on.

    Yes, I know. When I met Rom Malda personally he was an asshole to my face. He is smart but he is an asshole. That's the way it is.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:53PM (#42015271) Journal

    It didn't start with Bush.

    -jcr

  • Re:materials... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrekkieGod (627867) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:59PM (#42015301) Homepage Journal

    Who builds a watch with wires and "fuses" hanging out of it and then walks thru airport security? Really, who does that? Fools and idiot attention seekers.

    How far have we fallen that slashdot readers are asking that?

    Who does that? Nerds. Nerds do that. Incredible nerds like Steve Wozniak [youtube.com] for example.

    People wear things I find to be ridiculous all the time that everyone has no problem labeling as fashion statements. But if it's wires and fuses, it can't be a statement of the types of things you enjoy, it has to be an idiot attention seeker?

    Personally, I find it much more easy to label people idiots when they think every exposed wire and fuse is a bomb.

  • Re:Aloha Snackbar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:06PM (#42015353)

    I'll reserve judgement until I see the boots and the watch.

    NO! The judgement is complete once they found no trace of explosive materials
    Having wires on you or wearing thick shoes is absolutely no reason for being detained. Even if he had an actual bomb timer, that's nothing without a bomb

    I hope he sues them

  • Re:materials... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:09PM (#42015373)
    "Who builds a watch with wires and "fuses" hanging out of it and then walks thru airport security?
    Really, who does that?"

    steampunk?

    mabey he is, but the TSA and local PD does itself no favors giving every dolt looking for free publicity, all the free publicity they want.

    The "filfthy speech movement", made a career out of taunting the government into enforcing useless legislation to get the populace behind them, as did howard stern, and the legacy of the shock jock. The irony is, that, authorities, like a monkey with its hand on a grape nut in a trap, could let go and free itself anytime they want, but they never learn.

    The FBI campaign against so called "radicals" on california university campuses made heros and legends out of the mundane, and wasted FBI resources, destroyed the credbility of the federal governement, and ultimately let the real communists get the bomb, and let the mafia grow uncontrolled, by diverting resources towards harmless protestors who didn't not result in putting away serious threats to the nation.

    Mabey a few more idiots need to make fortunes before they catch on. All they are doing is degrading the reputation of the TSA, not catching any real terrorists(who take the efforts), and just repeating historical failures.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:12PM (#42015401) Homepage

    The crime is that he cant sue the Cops that arrested them directly. If cops had to pay for their crimes they would be less like assholes and more like civilized people.

  • by evil_aaronm (671521) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:20PM (#42015457)
    But to arrest him after the bomb squad said, "No danger"? What's the point? If the bomb squad had been worried about it, Ok, there's justification. This is just the cops being assholes because they can. Cops are not there to teach us lessons, or punish bad fashion sense. Either the guy was dangerous, had illegal materials, or indicated that he had intent to cause harm, or the cops were wrong to arrest him. I can find quite a few things wrong with just about every person I meet: if I were a cop, should I be able to arrest them for that?
  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:33PM (#42015547) Homepage Journal

    It did reach its "out of the closet" phase with the Bush II regime - and has been normalized into permanence under the Obama intelligence-state.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by travbrad (622986) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:36PM (#42015569)

    and it certainly hasn't ended with Obama. He has extended most of the policies of Bush, but seems to get a free pass from most of the people who were up in arms about Bush.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:38PM (#42015589)

    It didn't start with Bush.

    The terrorist/TSA paranoia very much did. He managed to push through the most significant change (per person dead).
    No catastrophe, even of larger proportions, has ever advanced us so far towards police state.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:48PM (#42015645)

    No offense, but read up on what Lincoln did during the Civil War.

    Suspended Habeus Corpus. Declared martial law in several US cities.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:58PM (#42015707)

    No shit.

    Some people still have their heads so far up his ass, reveling in the smell of "hope".

    As far as I am concerned Obama is a traitor in every way possible by not coming through on his promises, and basically doing everything he can to destroy freedoms and turn us into a police state.

    No, ObamaCare does not make up for it, nor has anything else he has done make up for it either.

    The only thing more disgusting is the fact Romney would have been far worse.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:01PM (#42015735)

    Are losers still on about this 1% crap?

    Yes. As long as "loser" stays a perjorative with implied stigma and/or a license to be treated as anything less than an average human being, they will be, for the simple reason that for one winner there will always be several losers, thus making the average person a loser. That current society requires 99 losers for 1 winner simply makes that more so.

    It was the 1% that declared war on the 99%, not the other way around.

    You don't see 1 in 100 people being able to walk through without scrutiny.

    Of course you don't, they don't take the regular flights but have private jets. Which would be fine by itself, it's not that much of a burden on other people, but it's not enough for them. They're never happy as long as anyone else has anything at all.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frosty_tsm (933163) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:10PM (#42015787)

    No offense, but read up on what Lincoln did during the Civil War.

    Suspended Habeus Corpus. Declared martial law in several US cities.

    Considering the number of people who died in the Civil War, I would say that his actions were justified by the threat. The Civil War makes Iraq, Afghanistan, and 9/11 look like a day in the park.

  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:49PM (#42015993) Homepage Journal

    America used to be the greatest nation of tinkerers and inventors in the world. Now we're a nation of consumers. The ability and inclination to create things is now considered prima facia evidence of anti-social tendencies.

    There's recently been an Internet-driven renaissance of inventing things -- the maker movement. But there's something sinister about the movement. It's *international*. Consider the Arduino. It was developed in the *commune* of Ivrea Italy, and the design is the property of *nobody*. The Trilateral Commission is probably behind it, assisted by the socialist Obama administration.

    People who know more than you are scary. People who know more than you *cooperating* with each other is scarier still.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:53PM (#42016017)

    Obviously I agree. I was just responding to "No catastrophe, even of larger proportions, has ever advanced us so far towards police state."

    That is just as obviously false.

  • Re:Take that! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chewbacon (797801) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:53AM (#42017023)
    I've long admitted that the terrorists won: we are fucking terrified.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:20AM (#42017307)
    I don't know why you guys expect a constitutional lawyer to do anything other than maintain the status quo apart from a few minor changes or large changes over a very long time (a lot more than four years). He's not really a socialist you know. People just call him that as a meaningless insult when they really want to yell "nigger" instead.
  • Re:materials... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @03:25AM (#42017509) Journal

    Probably more "fool" then attention seeker, but it should be a wake-up call that anyone who wants to travel should know better than to wear a piece of art around lest you tick off security check points.

    You suggest 300+ million Americans should self-censor in order to placate the TSA.
    I suggest that XY,000 TSA agents learn how to do their jobs better.

    One of these suggestions chills free speech, the other does not.

  • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:40PM (#42020679)

    I don't know why you guys expect a constitutional lawyer to do anything other than maintain the status quo

    I might expect him to be aware of the Fourth Amendment, along with the standard interpretation prior to the TSA that it's illegal for government agents to just blanket search everyone unless there's a specific identified threat of immediate concern. Before the TSA, when we were searched essentially by private screeners operated by the airlines, we consented to (limited) searches as part of a private commercial transaction -- if we refused to submit, we were just told we couldn't fly. Police or the FBI could only get involved if there were a reasonable suspicion to search further.

    Now we have government agents doing invasive searches, and if you don't comply, you can be detained and arrested. That's exactly the kind of thing the Fourth Amendment was passed to avoid.

    The interpretation of the Fourth Amendment changed suddenly and radically in the past decade, and I would expect a Constitutional lawayer to know something about it.

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