TSA screener gone after powder prank

  • Sat Jan 23rd, 2010 10:39pm
  • News

Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A University of Michigan student boarding a plane in Philadelphia to return to Detroit Metro Airport from winter break got a big fright in the form of a prank by an airport security screener.

Rebecca Solomon, 22, a U-M student from Wynnewood, Pa., said she was going through security at Philadelphia International Airport on Jan. 5 — less than two weeks after the failed bombing attempt Dec. 25 on Flight 253 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit — when a screener stopped her, wouldn’t let her take her bags and pulled a baggie of white powder from her computer case.

“Where did you get this from?” the guard asked her, according to an article she wrote for the U-M student newspaper.

Solomon wrote that she panicked, thinking a terrorist or drug smuggler had slipped something into the bag.

“Tears streamed down my face as I pleaded with him to understand that I’d never seen this baggie before,” Solomon wrote. “But as I emotionally tried to explain that I couldn’t explain, he started to smile, an odd reaction to such a monumental find in my things. Then he waved the baggie at me and told me he was kidding, that I should’ve seen the look on my face.”

A TSA spokeswoman verified Solomon’s account and said the employee is no longer employed by the TSA.