Woman removed from plane over gun ‘feels terrible’

2012-01-19 07:59

A 65-year-old lawyer was arrested for carrying a loaded handgun aboard an American Airlines jet.

Judith Kenney was released yesterday on her own recognisance, said her attorney, Dallas lawyer David Finn.

Kenney carries a handgun for protection but claimed to have forgotten that it was in a computer bag she carried on board the plane, he said.

She has no criminal history, he said.

Screeners at a security checkpoint had detected a gun in a woman’s carry-on bag but she “picked up the bag and left the checkpoint before the screening process was over,” said Greg Soule, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, which operates the checkpoints.

When TSA screeners spot a gun in a bag, they are supposed to seize the bag and notify police, he said.

Officials got a photo of Kenney from a closed-circuit video system and showed it to employees at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

She was taken into custody by DFW Airport police about an hour and 40 minutes later, Soule said.

An airline spokesperson said yesterday that the plane was headed for the runway when it returned to the gate and was met by airport police.

Kenney was removed from Flight 2385, scheduled to fly to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The flight, with 128 passengers, was delayed for just over an hour and passengers were screened again before the plane took off, American Airlines spokesperson Tim Smith said.

Airport officials said that Kenney would be charged with carrying a gun into a place where weapons are prohibited, a third-degree felony in Texas and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

About 10 other flights were also delayed up to 25 minutes after the TSA closed DFW’s Terminal D, Smith said.

The terminal, one of five at the airport, is used for both domestic and international flights.

Kenney is “absolutely mortified, embarrassed,” Finn said.

“She feels terrible for putting the pilot and passengers through all that.”
 

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