A New Jersey man, 72, was detained at Newark Liberty International Airport on Dec. 24 after officials found an ice pick inside a cane he was trying to pass through security.
“As he was going through the X-ray machine, a TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray monitor noticed something unusual in the handle,” Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said, according to CBS.
The wooden cane had a steel ice pick attached to its handle, agents discovered.
“And it looked like it was fairly weathered,” Farbstein added.
The elderly man, who was using a wheelchair when he arrived at the security checkpoint, was on his way to Georgia with his wife, according to CBS. Sources for the New York Post said he did not appear to have all of his mental faculties.
The man told Port Authority police officers he had been given the cane as a gift and did not know the ice pick was inside its handle, according to New York Post.
Officers found the man to not be a threat and released him so he could continue his journey. He was given a cane to use from the airport's "lost and found" by Officer Nicholas Duffy, and his wife was allowed to leave the airport with the ice pick cane to return it to their home, reported New York Post.
An ice pick is one of many items a passenger is not allowed to carry on a flight, Huffington Post reported. Others include scissors with a blade measuring more than 4 inches, throwing stars and nunchucks, and gel shoe inserts. Passengers are allowed to carry knitting needles, pocket knives, billiard cues, ice skates, and whips and chains.