NEW YORK — Transportation Security Administration officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) detected batons in the carry-on baggage of two men, and in the checked bag of a third man, in separate incidents within a two-hour period June 30. All three individuals were arrested by law enforcement.
Batons are illegal in New York; they are dangerous impact weapons used to strike another person. They also are known as expandable batons, telescopic batons, retractable batons and tactical batons. They are typically constructed from heavy metal tubing which collapses together for carrying and can expand to full length with a flick of the wrist.
TSA officers detected the first two weapons among the belongings of each traveler as the batons passed through the X-ray machines at the checkpoints at 7:13 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. The third baton was detected at 9:22 a.m. as it was passing through TSA’s checked-baggage screening equipment.
TSA officers contacted the Port Authority Police who responded to the checkpoints, confiscated the weapons and arrested the first two men on a state weapons charge. The police tracked down the third man, whose baton was in a checked bag, as he was waiting to catch his flight. He also was arrested and charged with a state weapons violation. There was no impact to airport operations.
The men are residents of Jamaica, New York; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Manhasset, New York. Each man was ticketed to fly to a different airport, each on a different airline.
As a reminder, travelers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint. TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Weapons laws vary by state and locality, and travelers should familiarize themselves with weapons laws for each point of travel prior to departure.