When Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Police arrested a 34-year-old
Granada Hills man late last week for allegedly trying to bring brass
knuckles aboard a flight, they weren’t exactly surprised at the
Airport officials say similar instances of negligence occur on an
almost daily basis.
Police said they discovered the weapon during an X-ray screening
late Thursday. Devon Wise, 34, was arrested, but released Sunday
after posting $20,000 bond, records said.
Airport officials stop passengers with banned items more often
than one would expect, Security Chief Mike Post said. Like most
cases, he said the one involving Wise appeared to be accidental.
“Given that we’re a year and-a-half into greatly enhanced security
at all airports, it’s mind-boggling to see how absent-minded and
uninformed many people are,” he said.
The brass knuckles Wise allegedly brought into the airport are
illegal to possess in general, but a law based on legislation by Sen.
Jack Scott (D-Burbank) recently made it illegal to bring a variety of
other items into an airport, including box cutters and nonworking
That new law has not led to a significant increase in arrests and
citations at the airport, Post said, but having the restrictions
written into state law make them easier to enforce.
Box cutters and brass knuckles are two of the most common items
passengers are stopped with, Post said. While most gun owners do not
try to take firearms on board, Post said many people absentmindedly
bring along ammunition.
A female passenger was cited and released March 18 after she
allegedly brought a small-caliber handgun ammunition into the secure
area of the airport, Lt. Allen Schmitt said.
While some people are stopped with items obviously inappropriate,
Post said other times someone just hasn’t thought about what their
luggage would look like to a screener. Police once stopped a
manufacturer of electronic parts who was carrying samples encased in
clear Lucite blocks. To the screening equipment, the samples looked
just like a bomb.
With 4.5 million passengers coming through the airport on an
annual basis, Post said stopping 300 to 400 with banned items did not
seem out of proportion. But the number of incidents could be reduced
almost to zero if travelers just did a better job of planning ahead.
“People need to think about where they’re going,” he said.
“They’re entering a high-security area where a lot of attention is
going to be paid to their belongings.”