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Worst Passenger of the Week

Worst Passenger of the Week: Diverted to the Doghouse

Worst Passenger of the Week: Diverted to the Doghouse
Jeff Edwards

Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.

Third Place – Treated Worse than a K9 Officer

Tom, a Department of Homeland Security bomb-seeking dog, has a thankless job on a good day, but when a passenger inexplicably kicked the hardworking K9, fellow first responders rallied to support him. The explosives detection animal assigned to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) was participating in training exercises in the gate areas of the terminal with his handler when police say air traveler Michael Toussaint deliberately kicked Tom in the side.

Police quickly took Toussaint into custody and rushed Tom for treatment. There was no apparent motive offered for the North Carolina man’s alleged violent act. According to the arrest report, the disturbing incident occurred in a busy area of Concourse B shortly before 10 a.m. The animal was said to have been under the direct control of his trainer (and eyewitness) Agent Benjamin Vidacovich at the time.

The good news is that a TSA spokesperson says that Tom the bomb dog is going to be just fine – unfortunately, it seems that the suspect will also land on his feet. If Toussaint stood accused of assaulting any other TSA worker on duty at the time, then he would be facing serious federal charges, but because TSA Officer Tom happens to be a canine, the alleged perpetrator is in much less serious legal jeopardy. According to court records, the 33-year-old is charged with a single misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals.

The Runner-up – Mistaken for Man’s Best Friend

This week, a passenger risked his life on a perilous journey to freedom in the baggage compartment of a passenger jet, but in the end, he only got a drink of water for his troubles. On the other hand, the brave stowaway should perhaps count himself lucky that he wasn’t hit with a tranquilizer dart and hauled off to the pound.

Authorities say the trespassing air traveler who arrived at Miami International Airport (MIA) on a Swift Air charter flight from Havana José Martí International Airport (HAV) will not likely be permitted to stay on U.S. soil and will instead be treated as a stowaway under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Once on the ground, however, this particular stowaway had much more pressing problems to deal with than his immigration status.

Airport crews who first discovered the unauthorized passenger scurrying about the cargo hold, at first, mistakenly believed that he was a dog that was somehow running loose in the belly of the plane. It wasn’t until the “dog” identified himself and asked for a glass of water that the ramp workers began to suspect they were dealing with a human trespasser. The temporary, but worrisome, case of mistaken identity was probably among the least dangerous aspects of this stowaway’s voyage to the U.S.

“Individuals are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces and CBP is trained and ready to respond with appropriate actions to prevent serious injuries or death whenever possible,” Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher Maston said in a statement announcing the arrest. “Teams of CBP officers maintain a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws while facilitating trade and travel at ports of entry statewide.”

The Winner – In This Case Her Bite was as Bad as Her Bark

When a passenger at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) was told she was too intoxicated to board her flight on Sunday, she took it upon herself to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the gate agents made the correct decision. Kiyoshi Andrea Bill was eventually taken into custody, but not before police say she bit and kicked the officers who arrived to defuse the situation.

According to the police report, the 31-year-old was told she could not travel on her departing flight after several fellow passengers indicated they would rather stay behind than board a plane carrying the allegedly drunk and verbally abusive California woman. American Airlines employees reportedly attempted to book the problem passenger on a later flight, but she instead turned her rage on the gate agents.

When police arrived, they reported finding Bill “causing a disturbance.” The unpleasant passenger is accused of loudly cursing at gate agents while under the mistaken impression that her flight had been delayed. She is also said to have been aggressively filming fellow passengers with a mobile phone. Cops say that Bill smelled strongly of alcohol and exhibited slurred speech.

Rather than allowing herself to be arrested on public intoxication charges, this Worst Passenger of the Week made a series of bad decisions that did not improve her situation in any way at all. In the end, this resulted in Bill now facing a slew of much more serious charges.

According to arrest filings, rather than realizing the jig was up after being handcuffed, Bill instead dropped to the ground, cursed loudly at the officers, kicking one of the arresting officers in the face and kicking another officer in the chest – but she wasn’t finished there. When police attempted to put the suspect in a cruiser, she took her tirade to a new and even less dignified level, allegedly kicking an officer in the chest and biting him.

 

[Image: YouTube]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. hvsteve1

    August 23, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Many states have special laws making a physical attack against a police dog a more serious crime than simple animal abuse. So the feds don’t give any such protection to their K-9 units? How about the local laws where the attack occurred?

  2. MRM

    August 27, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Bill is one of those drunks that you’d HATE to see trip and fall a few times while walking handcuffed to the police cruiser…

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