Sunday, May 06, 2007

Did I stop a terrorist attack?

...maybe, or maybe I snitched on a druggy.

Today while walking out of the airport there was a man and a family standing inside the doors going outside. The man stopped me like he needed help finding something (I was in uniform) I smiled and said "what do you need?" and I think he said never mind. He was breathing heavily, he looked REALLY nervous. Something was really not right about this guy.

I walked out to the bus shelter where the shuttle picks us up and takes us to the other terminal where the parking is. Somehow I knew he was following me so I smiled and faced him and asked "do you need help finding something?" He asked "How do I get to the mall?" I pointed to the bus shelters where I thought the mall bus came. He pointed at this shelter and asked "where does this one go?" I said "that goes to the other terminal" He asked "how much does that cost?" I said "to go to the other terminal it's free, to go to the mall it's 1.50 I think" and then I said "Oh, I think you need to go downstairs to the tram to go to the mall" he then paused, still breathing hard, and said "can I ask you something?" and I said, sweetly, "sure" and he said "never mind" and I asked, with empathy, "are you okay?" and I don't remember his response.

I looked over and got eye contact with the mother from inside the doors, the family was now outside. We both made "what the hell?" faces to each-other. The man stood there for a minute breathing hard, acting like he just robbed a bank, and the getaway car wasn't showing up. He then walked away towards the mainline employee bus, not the mall bus, not the tram that went to the mall. I asked the woman "did he say anything to you when you were in there?" She said "No, we followed him out here, we thought he was going to target you." I said "I should probably call security, huh?" I thanked them for looking out for me, and went in to call.

When I realized that I was really doing the right thing by calling security (I am really not the "ratting" type) I started to feel a little nervous. I called and then went back in through the security checkpoint (in case he came back in before security arrived) and I stood by the window watching him. The police cars arrived, two police came out and talked to him, he looked very defensive, they talked to eachother for about a minute and then I saw them grab his wrist and put handcuffs on him. I saw them pull something white out of his pocket.

When I felt there was no threat to me (and that the shuttle had arrived) I went back down the stairs and ran to the shuttle, (hoping he wouldn't see me) and got on. Everyone was looking out the window and I told them what happened. I heard some guy saying "the cops are harrassing him" or something and I turned to him and said (in a friendly "hey I'm a liberal too" voice) and said "Nah, they aren't harrassing him, something was SERIOUSLY wrong with that guy." He didn't even acknowledge what I said, which got on my nerves. It's like the conservatives think everyone brown is a threat (this guy looked asian or mexican) and the liberals think everyone brown is innocent. I wanted to shake him and say "get off your high horse, terrorists kill liberals too!"

I did the right thing by calling him in. His behavior was VERY consistant with how someone who planted a bomb would behave, if not that, he obviously was doing something VERY WRONG. If it was just drugs I do feel bad, but considering the circumstances, a person desperately wanting to leave the airport acting like something was seriously wrong, I made the smart choice. I don't regret it.

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