A supervisor for the Transportation Security Administration at Philadelphia International Airport reportedly had an innocent man arrested for carrying “suspicious” items in his carry-on bag that turned out to be PowerBars and a watch.
Charles Kieser was reportedly supervising a security-screening area that 57-year-old architect Roger Vanderklok passed through in order to board his flight to Miami. Vanderklok, who runs half-marathons, was reportedly carrying the energy bars and a heart monitoring watch in his carry-on luggage when he was stopped and questioned about whether he was carrying “organic matter,” which he assumed meant organic fruits and vegetables, reports Philly.com.
It turns out the agent had another kind of “organic” matter in mind: the kind that can be used to make bombs. Vanderklok’s watch was also thought to be an item used in connection with terrorist bombings.
After the agent determined that Vanderklok was not carrying harmful materials, the runner reportedly asked to fill out a complaint because he didn’t approve of the way the situation was handled. Instead, Kieser reportedly called police and the man was placed in an airport holding cell for three hours, while his belongings, including his cell phone, were confiscated.
Vanderklok was reportedly detained for 20 hours and says he wasn’t questioned or given the opportunity call his worried wife, reports ABC News. He says Kieser lied to police and told them he had made a verbal threat against airport agents.
"The passenger made a bomb threat to me," Kieser testified, according to a transcript. "(He said) I'll bring a bomb through here any day that I want ... and you'll never find it."
Vanderklok denied any mention of a bomb.
A judge reportedly dismissed the charge against Vanderklok after he filed a lawsuit on Jan. 23.