TSA takes knife

LIHUE — Transportation Security Administration agents confiscated a non-metallic knife with a 3.5-inch blade that a man tried to pass through security at Lihue Airport.

Officials said a 72-year-old Oregon man traveling from Kauai to Honolulu was selected for additional screening at the security checkpoint on Monday, April 20. TSA agents felt a suspicious item on his body during a pat-down, at which point the man removed the knife from the upper-groin area of his pants and voluntarily surrendered it to the agents.

Law enforcement personnel were called over, but determined that the man did not commit a crime and no arrest was made.

Nico Melendez, a spokesman for TSA, said the man said he put the knife in his pants that morning for protection. Melendez was not able to specify what material the knife was made of, but he said it appears to be a commercial product and not homemade.

“Prohibited items are confiscated every single day at airports across the country, and Lihue Airport is no exception,” Melendez said. “But when things like this happen, we like to take the opportunity to remind people with questions that they can go online to check which items are allowed.”

After the passenger, who was traveling with his spouse and another couple, forfeited the knife, he was allowed to continue through security and board the airplane.

According to Melendez, flyers frequently attempt to bring prohibited items on-board aircrafts, but most cases are inadvertent.

This case received extra attention from security because the knife was artfully concealed, meaning it appears the man intentionally tried to hide a prohibited item in order to sneak it onto the plane.

Although he was not charged with a crime and terrorism wasn’t suspected, the man could potentially face civil penalties in the form of monetary fines that can be levied by the TSA, although a determination whether that will happen has not yet been made.

Anyone who wants to know which items are prohibited may check www.TSA.gov.

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Ryan Kazmirzack, government reporter, can be reached at 245-0428.

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