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BDO Team Helps Child Find Way Home

Monday, May 11, 2009

TSA Weekly

A 13-year-old boy who used his father’s credit card to book a four-city plane trip was discovered by a team of Behavior Detection Officers at Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport. But that was as far as he got.

Using his father’s car to drive to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., without the parent’s knowledge, he flew to San Jose, where he was spotted wondering by Howard Temple and Sterling Cuizon.

The BDO team learned from the boy that he was traveling alone and planned to fly to Denver, with a connection to St. Louis. But he was not to leave until the following day and had no place to sleep. Concerned about the child’s safety, the BDOs alerted airport police, who learned the boy had been reported missing in Florida.

“When we spoke with the child, we used our training to interact in a non-threatening way and learned exactly what we needed to know,” said Temple.

The BDOs said that they noticed “something special” about the boy. He seemed “brilliant,” said Cuizon. It was later determined that the boy has Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that resembles autism. Police reunited the boy with his family.

“This is another example of how the additional layer of security provided by Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques has had a significant impact on the safety of the traveling public,” said FSD Kathleen Roscher.

Photo of BDOs Sterling Cuizon and Howard Temple. BDOs Sterling Cuizon and Howard Temple.
Photo by Tom Maresh