Man blames Obama for missed flight at Eagle County airport
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado –A 52-year-old man was cited for disorderly conduct after he was seen yelling and making obscene gestures outside the perimeter fence of Eagle County Regional Airport on May 28, police say.
The man told authorities he had arrived at 7:04 a.m. to check in for his 7:40 a.m. flight. He said no one was at the United desk to check him and his son in, and that he waited until 7:10 a.m. He said he then asked a Transportation Security Administration agent to locate a United employee. The TSA agent said he couldn’t do that. The man said he went outside and stood by the fence to try to gain the attention of a United worker. The plane began to move, so he waved at it.
Police spoke with United staff members who were on the ramp at the time of the incident. They saw the man yelling and waving his arms at the aircraft. Further, they saw the man raising his middle finger toward the plane. They said they received radio communications from the plane’s captain requesting law enforcement to find out the man’s intentions.
One of the staff members said he knew for a fact he was at the ticket/check-in counter until 7:10 a.m. and that the man wasn’t there. United closes check-in 30 minutes before departure.
The airplane’s flight crew wouldn’t allow the man to fly with them on the morning or afternoon flights out of Eagle. It was also unclear if the man would be allowed to fly on United at all because the incident was reported to United Airlines according to procedure.
TSA agents told police the man had approached them yelling and screaming, “See what Obama has done to us?!”
Police contacted the FBI to inform them of the occurrence. An FBI agent said the man’s actions were not considered a threat to a federal employee or aircraft. He said the actions would need to have caused an employee concern enough to not be able to do his or her job, which wasn’t the case.
The man didn’t understand why he was being ticketed, saying it was a customer-service matter with United. An officer told the man he would be able to give his side of the story to a judge on his court date.