Airport screener arrested after rampage

chperplt

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http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/08/13/screener.arrest/index.html


An airport screener who is a registered sex offender faces life in prison after a weekend rampage in which he fired shots throughout his apartment complex and then set fire to one of the buildings, officials said.

Nathaniel Lee Kewanyama, 22, screened passengers at Hobby Airport. He was employed by Max Aero, a Houston-based airport security company contracted to do business at Hobby.

Early Sunday, police said, Kewanyama entered his apartment in southeast Houston and found three people inside. Police would not identify who they were or how they got to be there.

Police said the people told Kewanyama to leave, but he came back a short while later "fully armed" with a number of weapons, including an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

"He fired dozens of rounds," said Houston Police spokesman John Cannon. "It's a miracle no one was shot."

When police began arriving at the complex, Kewanyama barricaded himself in another apartment and set fire to it to keep police away. Police then arrested Kewanyama, who was shirtless and had a tattoo of a woman on his chest.


Kewanyama is listed in the Texas Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry, which is available to the public and searchable.
He was charged with one count of arson and three counts of burglary with attempted aggravated assault. The burglary charges are felonies and each carry up to 99 years in prison.

State prosecutors said a simple background check would have revealed Kewanyama's status as a registered sex offender. He is listed on the Web site for the Texas Department of Public Safety as having committed sexual assault on a 30-year-old woman in 1995.

Kewanyama's status with his employer was not clear Tuesday; Max Aero did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

He was hired in February this year, but the exact date of his hiring may be crucial in determining what charges, if any, Max Aero might face.

Federal Aviation Administration guidelines imposed after September 11 state airport security companies have until the end of 2002 to complete background checks on screeners hired before February 17, 2002 -- an extended window based on the backlog of background checks that resulted from the order.


Kewanyama fired dozens of shots and set an apartment building afire in a Saturday night rampage, police say.
Anyone hired after February 17, however, must undergo a background check immediately in order to get hired.

A spokesman for Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Tuesday that anyone with a criminal history would be barred from performing security duties under the new guidelines.

"The failure of the private sector screening company to perform an appropriate background check is an example of the failure of the system that the [Transportation Security Administration] is currently in the process of overhauling," said spokesman Leonardo Alcivar.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act of November 19, 2001, established the TSA, which is gradually taking over security at the nation's airports.
 

azpilot

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What? The best and the brightest aren't being hired? I can't believe it. I wonder what will happen when these companies have to prove they did the background checks. At BWI years ago we had to go to the State Police facilty on site to have them do the background check. How hard is that?
 

rumpletumbler

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"When police began arriving at the complex, Kewanyama barricaded himself in another apartment and set fire to it to keep police away."

Note to review board:

A mind like a steel trap. Mr. Kewanyama obviously thinks quickly on his feet. However, if you will take a look at the notes I have here on Mr. Fudpucker you will notice that he actually set fire to himself to keep the police at bay effectively delaying his capture longer than Mr. Kewanyama. In light of this I recommend we hire Mr. Fudpucker as he obviously carries the thought process the extra mile and I believe will make a great addition to our team.

RT
 

Delta3

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"He fired dozens of rounds," said Houston Police spokesman John Cannon. "It's a miracle no one was shot."

Maybe he can become an Air Marshall once he serves his time.
 

bart

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This would NEVER happen if there were federally employed screeners at Hobby. (Just giving you the liberal tripe that is sure to make the rounds on the evening news tonight.)
 

pilot141

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News? What news?

An airport screener on a gun rampage? That's not news at all!

He's just relieving stress from sniffing out drunk pilots all day! That is the official new primary focus of airport screeners now! After confiscating screwdrivers, flashlights and tweezers from this obviously dangerous group, we have to expect some "venting" after the screener can't find a pilot that smells like alcohol to accuse. After all, his fellow non-English speaking, non-citizen colleagues are getting heaps of praise for being the "last line of defense"! Why not him? I'm sure after hassling every pilot going through security and sniffing many pairs of pilot shoes, belts and yes, their breath, he felt discouraged after not coming up with a "bust". Yes, he is frustrated at not being able to bust a pilot going to his job.....

Wait......terrorist? Please be speaking more slowly....Tear.....or..is?

No, no time for that.......big money and news is for drunk pilot!
 

Typhoon1244

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How the heck did a registered sex offender get a job doing pat-down searches? They must have decided he had a lot of quality experience feeling people up.

I dunno, maybe this'll be a deterrent to the next batch of terrorists: you never know if the guy screening you is a crazy mo-fo anal-rapist with an AR-15 in his lunch bag.

(Hey, if they sniff my breath, can I check their criminal record?)
 

JetProp

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Sheez..
and they let this guy do pat-down searches..."one of 'dem pilots maght have 'sumtin in his there socks basides ankles!"..."ah betta' frisk 'em..."
 

aggiepilot87

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FL000 said:
would YOU hire this guy...

Nathaniel Lee Kewanyama

Probably got the job so he could cop a free feel.
Is it just me, or do these type of people have that strange sex offender "look" about them.
 
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