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b757300
Topic Author
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Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:39 am

I went to my local airport, only served by AE and COEX, where I’ve never had any trouble before. Well this time the local Rambo decided to give me grief. I’m taking pictures of an AE Saab340 waiting to take off when I hear the sound of an round being loaded into an M-16. I turn around and the little f***er is standing 3 feet behind me with his toy pointed @ my head. With him is the airport security manager who immediately begins to yell and screen @ me. The security manager pulled the camera off my neck, broke the strap, and Rambo slammed me into the tree and kept me there until the airport fool had torn my camera case apart, broke my camera, and took all my film, even the unused rolls. I’m thinking about going to the hospital and see if my jaw was injured. It hurts to move my head and talk. After they finished, I was forced to sit on the ground while they played 20 questions. They wanted to know why I was there, what I was planning to do, if I knew I was breaking Federal law, and if I was going to make trouble by refusing to leave. I responded as best I could by saying that I was there to simply take pictures, never “planned” to do anything, and that there was NOT an FAA rule against photography. They insisted there was and wouldn’t show me the current FAA rule book. I told them they need to get down to Houston Intercontinental fast because IAH doesn’t know that it is against FAA rules. With that comment they told me if I didn’t leave right then, I would be arrested and turned over to the FBI. Well, after taking both physical and mental abuse, I was unable to continue the argument so I quickly left. I am going to go talk with the airport general manager as soon as I can. I know him because I interviewed him for a class project a while back. I’m going to make some heads roll and if necessary, I will take legal action against the two a**holes who assaulted me and Texas A&M University which runs the airport.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
Dazed767
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:45 am

 Wow! WOW!

Take legal action.
 
Dazed767
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:50 am

Now a few questions....

What the heck was the nat. guard guy doing OUTSIDE? I thought they were only stationed inside.
 
Guest

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:51 am

They did that to you at CLL!!! Oh my gosh I am so sorry. What camera did you have and how did they damage it? Geez, this is a little extreme!
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:52 am

I would guess he was being lead on a leash by the airport security fool. When I was driving off, he was out in the parking lot bothering someone else.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
Joge
Posts: 1386
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:53 am

Ok, let's PLAN something then, if they want a PLAN.  Big thumbs up

-Joge
Bula!
 
b757300
Topic Author
Posts: 3914
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:57 am

It is/was a Nikon N65 with a Nikon lens that cost more than the Camera.



This is a picture of the terminal. I was standing about 10 feet to the left of where the picture ends. You can't drive on the upper level anymore but there are always people up there (usually smoking) and no one gives a flip. I think what happened was a passenger came out to smoke, saw me, went inside, and within a minute, the security idiots showed up.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
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Scooter
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:58 am

With that comment they told me if I didn’t leave right then, I would be arrested and turned over to the FBI.

Again, I would have been arrested if this happened to me. I would have laughed right at them with that FBI shit. I've got nothing to hide, so I'd love to be "handed over to the FBI". Once they realize that the Security guards are taking their job WAY to serously (and wasting the FBI's time), they may be told to cool it a bit.

Anyway geez...why are the small po-dunk ariports acting like this is WWIII?

-Scott
My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:01 am

If up until that point all they had done is yell and scream, I would have said "Arrest me and the FBI will laugh in your faces" but I was already in pain and just didn't have anything left to fight with.

Oh, and it was an old women who had been outside smoking that probably called them.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
OH-LZA
Posts: 971
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:29 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:02 am

Take legal action! Fight for your rights!

Alexander
 
2912n
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:05 am

If what you are saying is true then you shouold immediatly contact an attorney.
 
b757300
Topic Author
Posts: 3914
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:09 am

My parents have a good friend who is considered one of the best lawyers in town, I'll give him a call tomorrow.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
exnonrev
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:13 am

By all means get a lawyer. Make sure your attorney went to school anywhere but A&M. Just as cops don't squeal on other cops (The Blue Wall of Silence), Aggies don't squeal on other Aggies (The Aggie Network)
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:16 am

He's a Longhorn.  Big thumbs up
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
exnonrev
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RE: B757300

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:18 am

You're in good hands.
 
scottysair
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:21 am

B757300,

That is one I had use with my Nikon N65 camera with me at my home. And what is else happened of you at the College Station Airport and did guards were abuse of you or somelse what is happened. So do you need to please write email to me. Thanks!!!

Regards
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:30 am

Holy crap...

I would take legal action immediately. By all means, this asshole National guard shouldn't have pointed a weapon to your head. I would go back to the airport with a lawyer, file a possibly law suit, if he broke your jaw, have the Natl guard guy pay for your hospital bill, films, and your damages of your camera. Since the camera is your property, it is just wrong for someone to just take it instead of asking permission. He should be charged.
Tell us how it goes.

I feel for you man. I am fed with with the National Guards controling us.



An aggrivated spotter, Kevin/DCA
 
jderden777
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:32 am

THAT IS CRAZY!!!!!! i have never heard of anything more uncalled for and unprovoked....that really, i mean REALLY, pisses me off...those half-baked dudes who don't know what they're talking about trying to act all big and bad like they can tell what is good or evil...anything "unusual" to them is foreign...they'll jump on you for stupid stuff like this...

dude if it helps at all...i think it's safe to say that we are ALL behind you on this...and you really should take legal action against those narrow-minded pricks who think that running innocent people away from the airport is in the "best interest of our country"..

i knew this was going to happen sometime..i knew someone would really get blasted for taking pics...i know that if i were you, i would've been arrested for sure..i wouldn't have left...knowing and standing firm that photography is illegal...that really gets me...

i would definitely take legal action if things happened the way they did...we could get some positive publicity if anything becomes of this...but i'd say we might have it tougher if you don't get anything...

best of luck to you my friend...i hope that you win this battle!!

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
CcrlR
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 7:00 am

Wow that was harsh. What I would have said was that they have to comply to the FAA rules. If they say that it's not illegal they have to say it. Also you should talk to whoever is in charge and tell them what happened. Anytime where I've been hassled I tell them that I contacted the FAA and the airport and they said it wasn't illegal and I could do it for PRIVATE use only. Also you should do the best thing TAKE LEGAL ACTION!!! Because that if you're 25 feet away from the fence he shouldn't have done that to you and also too how are they enforcing a law that doesn't exist that's just wierd. And one more thing ask for proof cause it's seperates the right ones from the dumbasses.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
PPGMD
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 7:59 am

Well you can actaully charge them with assualt, burguarly, illegal detainment, and looks like destruction of private property. One other thing I would do is contact your local newspaper.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:18 am

Go to the police man, you will regret it later if you dont!
 
joe pries
Posts: 1922
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:24 am

holy shit, all this for an american eagle saab340? damn, what if it would have been the 737 AA retrojet?????


 Smile
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3891
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:34 am

Eric,

I am both angered and sadden by your experience at CLL. It is an unfortunate commentary in these tenses times.

I fowarded a copy of this post to my brother (an attorney) for his comments.

First, if what you say is true and you did not provoke the guardsman and manager either verbly or with a physical gesture then you very probably have a strong assult case. Even if you did provoke either of these 2 individuals before the assualt you may still have a case. Before posting this incident here on this forum did you file an assult charge with the local police and have you sought out the advice of council ? If not then you probably have done yourself a big disservice.

According to my brother the best thing to do in a situation like this is to keep quiet and fully cooperate (I know it is hard, especially for me) at all times and after you are set free then you should have immediately filed assult charges against the guardsmen, the manager as well as sought out legal coucil, in particular a civil attorney. By doing that you stand a much better chance of sucessfully challangeing these individuals in court.

By all means contact the local media as well, pending your lawyer's advice.

These overzealous Gestopo type actions must be stopped at once! Perhaps your case (if you decide to persue this in the courts) will get our hobby some serious national attention.

Good luck, we are all 100% behind you on this!

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:36 am

Well, the only things it looks like I lost are my pride and some film. After calming down, took me a while, I looked @ my camera and put it back together. All that happened was he took the batteries & film out and took the lens off. Nothing was broken except my feelings. What worries me is I cannot prove what happened. There wasn't anyone else in that area except for me and the two S.S. agents. Also suing Texas A&M is almost impossible. First thing I'll do is discuss this with a lawyer and then go talk to the General Manager of the airport. He is a very nice man who will probably be horrified by this. He is real easy going and doesn’t see security as an issue for the Gestapo to handle. He even gave permission for a class from TAMU to do interviews of passengers about security but American Eagle blocked it for fear of upsetting their customers. I don't want to be involved in years of lawsuits against the State of Texas since the chances of winning aren't great but if every other option fails, I will take slim over none.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
jderden777
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:55 am

well, it's a good thing that your camera wasn't destroyed...i hope that you can get something accomplished by this. you should mention it (or at least write an editorial) to the paper about your experience...someone is bound to see it and contact you about it...just make sure that you are in the clear...legally that is...

good luck...again, we are all behind you on this!

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
aps
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2001 2:58 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:06 am

It sounds to me that you just had dealings with a couple of "wannabe's" give a short guy a gun and what do you know !! the head of security obviously isnt plugged into reallity at the moment (he may have timed out) ... im sorry to here you had so much trouble. I have just come back from my vacation in the US , here are a couple of examples on how people are takin it... 1st.. at Newark i had my camera out waiting to transfer , pointing up towards the moon you never know you might get a good shot of an aircraft crossing it ! A very tall angry looking security girl came speeding over to me and said " WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN' ?" .... i had to control my answer... "errrrrrmmm takin pictures ! " her reply was " DONT BE SMART ASS !! PUT THAT THING AWAY BEFORE I DO IT FOR YOU !! " was her reply... i could not beleive her attitude ... i had to reply so i said to her "im not being a smart ass... would you like me to make up a reply for you ?? " on that note i think you realised her stupidity and left as quickly as she arrived.

2nd example was at Worcester MA .. i arrived with camera round neck and had a mooch around for spots to photo... nothing much going on so i decided to ask the Cop sat in his car outside the terminal building " any good places ?" he looked me up and down and replied " "yes sure sir you can go straight down there to the end and watch them comin' in ... just make sure you are more than 300 feet from the building.. Have a good day "... that was great he new i wasnt going to mess around .. .. So it just goes to show how people react to power ... you can handle it or you cant !  Smile
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:29 am

Well, I was unable to speak to the airport director. I was pawned off on the assistant director who it turns out ordered the two thugs to come hassle me. They called her before starting their B.S and she said they had her permission to run me off. She would not answer the charges that they ruffed me up and pulled out an M-16. She claims they were very nice but when I asked her where she was @ the time, her reply was “At Home”. She claims to have filed some report with the “Appropriate Federal Agency” and that I will probably be charged with “terrorist activity”. (Whatever) When I asked her when the FAA outlawed photography, her response was “After Sept. 11”. When I told her I could find no such policy on the FAA website, her response was “It was not issued to the public, only to the airports and air carriers”. I then asked her for the policy or directive number so I could call the FAA myself and get a answer from the source, she said “I cannot give that information out to the general public”. I then asked her why the Houston Airport System was encouraging photography since it is suppose to be illegal. To quote “I am not responsible if Houston breaks the law, I only am responsible for the safety of this airport.” I ended the pointless conversation by informing her I would pursue other avenues including legal action and/or taking my case to the press. She said I had better not do any such thing and then hung up.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
aps
Posts: 138
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:33 am

Go for it !!

 
flpuck6
Posts: 2047
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:39 am

Man, B757300, I am soooo sorry. You should honestly pursue this, if for anything, for the mere principal of it. Absolute ridiculousness. Also, don't settle for the assistant director. Get right to the director. She's just trying to save her own a$$.

As Jonathan said, we're all behind you on this.
Bonjour Chef!
 
b757300
Topic Author
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:50 am

I'll attempt to go see the director in person but it will have to wait for a couple of days. I’m totally swamped with work and school and unfortunately those have to come first. I’m not going away and TAMU isn’t going to get off that easy.

I am also going to contact the Houston Airport System and the FAA and see if I can get an official letter stating policy on aviation photography.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:58 am

Go to the press! Be a hero!

Then take legal action, and sell your story to some dirty taboid like the National Enquirer (I'm guessing that's one for your lower-quality newspapers)!

And then get the kicked out and hoorah!
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
donder10
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 3:41 am

How can a law not be public?
 
T-Bird
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 2:38 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:18 am

Not such dramatic, but something similar has happend to me @FRA. The local MP´s of the US Air force has "taken care of me" as i tried to take some pictures of the first delivered Condor B753 parked there. Not very funny. The situation is getting worther and worther since September,11. I think ever grass-strip is better protected as the boarding-area of major airports. The officials should take more attention on their own business-to prevent of terrosistical activities in the airport and ONBOARD! While securityguards torments us spotters OUTSIDE! the airport-facility, smuggels journalists knifes and other things through the security-area. The authorities should definitly forbid photography (With signs and on the basis of law) or let us peacefull spotters alone!
 
H. Simpson
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:27 am

just believe: like what T-bird said, spotters are innocent

for B757300: I'm sorry and if it's my case, I would take legal action. Seriously
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 6:23 am

B757300, I’m sorry to hear what you went through. I hope you pursue this. I can believe that the assistant director was misinformed about the regulations… but for her to lie about so many points seems hard for me to believe. You are making strong allegations so be careful. If you are exaggerating and they read this thread they could come after you for slander.

As has been previously posted in other threads, the FAA is explicitly stating that none of its directives prohibit photography in and around airports (with the exception of security checkpoints).

Well, best of luck in this. Your story just proves my assertion that the security people at small airports have absolutely nothing better to do.

Sunil
 
psa188
Posts: 661
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 6:34 am

If you can afford a lawyer, you should sue.
 
exnonrev
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:05 am

What do you call a mass gathering of intellectuals at TAMU?

Visitor Parking.

Seriously, let's hope the GM at CLL can handle this. He sounds like a very rational person.
 
TimMSP
Posts: 216
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B757300

Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:29 am

Do you have an email address for the airport director? We'd all love to send him an email!

Tim
 
b757300
Topic Author
Posts: 3914
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RE: B757300

Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:17 am

Filling his mail box with e-mails will probably do more harm than good. I'm going to get some things together and then go and see him. I'm sure he will be very unhappy with all of this.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
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United_fan
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:47 am

Jeez,I 'de be soo pissed..chambering a round at an unarmed person ought to be ground for firing. It's not like you climbed the fence to the ramp! I would definately get a lawyer !
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
jcxp15
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:05 pm

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:48 am

You should have let them taken you into their custody, and then have found out what allegations you were facing under official "watch". They most likely wouldn't even had taken you in, let alone "introduced" you to an FBI agent. The security manager (most likely, unless a certified law enforcement official) cannot do anything to you at all. He would be forced to call either the FBI or Police (or I guess he would have been able to have the National Guard to escort you). If they did decided to take you in (by the way they acted, they had no intention to begin with) they would have interrogated you, (during which you would have been able to leave at any time). Be sure to find out the security official's name, as well as the National Guard member's info.
The first thing I would do would be to consult a lawyer. He would probably advise you to file an official police report, after which you would be able to bring destruction of private property charges against the airport. Unless you have any visible marks on your body from the incident, assault charges would probably not stand, as the security official and national guard would argue that they used reasonable force in the circumstance (you have any witnesses?).
The "illegal detention" that someone mentioned would also never stand. They would argue that you were free to leave at any time, and weren't forced to answer any questions.

In any case, good luck!
 
c72
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:28 pm

This crap is getting sickening!!! GET AN ATTORNEY!!!!
 
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apuneger
Posts: 2964
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 6:49 pm

Oh man, I really feel sorry for you. You just went out to do the thing you like to do (which is totally innocent) and then a couple of a-holes scare the hell out of you and think they are right.

Well, I'd say go for it man! I'm pretty sure they'll be frightened if someone fights back. They'll be surprised. Of course, it's their job to keep this airport safe, but they don't have to menace every single guy who passes by and seems a little bit 'suspicious' (at least according to THEM!).

You have my full support! I know that if this would have happened over here at Brussels Airport or so, I would have done the same thing as you. I don't want to get arrested and then have a criminal record or so. No way man! Instead, I would have played the game their way (like you did basicly) and now it's time to fight back!

Try to file a lawsuit against them (however, I'm not sure if you have strong evidence). If not, bring it to the press!

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
TomH
Posts: 950
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:12 pm

Somethin' about your story ain't sittin' right, son. Having been on the other end of an M-16 many times, I find it impossible to believe that a National Guard soldier would point an M-16 at you whether loaded or unloaded. I also find it hard to believe that the soldier takes direct orders from airport amanagement.

You got a lot of folks riled up in support of you through this tale that is riddled with derogatory descriptions of everyone but airline photographers. Now, you find there is little or no damage to anything but your pride, after you "settled down" a bit. Strangely, you seem ambivalent about taking any official action.

Makes me wonder how much of this is true. Hope it makes others take pause also.
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:08 am

TomH,

You took the words right out of my mouth.

If this was me I would have been at the local news companies within the hour. I dont see ho some school work could be that important.
 
sunilgupta
Posts: 771
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:19 am

Thanks TomH! I tried to say the same thing above albeit a little more tactfully  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Sounds like a “school age tale” by someone who was pissed for being run off.

Sunil
 
5280AGL
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

RE: B757300

Wed Feb 27, 2002 2:48 am

After seeing and hearing what the gestapo does at ORD and JFK, this does not surprise me at all. Just ask Chris Weldy how his rights were respected at ORD...These are rare encounters, but they do happen.
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:05 am

There is sufficient import in this topic that we should stick to it and not digress. We won't gain anything if we start talking about what happened to other people at other times and places.

We would benefit more by learning how this story evolves. So far, about all we know are that the initial two players are "Rambo" and the security manager. About 12 replies into this thread we find that someone has assumed "Rambo" to be a National Guardsman. This isn't funny. We have the very people that are trying to protect us being described as "Gestapo" a few replies later.

It snowballs pretty quickly, doesn't it?

We need to keep our photography hobby in perspective.
It ain't that important in the scheme of things right now.
 
JetRanger2000
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2000 8:21 am

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:13 am

Secret Directive that states no aviation photography? Tell the media, then probably the FAA will hear the story and make a press release that is not true (hopefully)
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Just Had An M-16 Shoved In My Face

Wed Feb 27, 2002 11:34 am

Go sue. I thought sueing people in the US was easy? Either way, don't let it drop. Write a letter, go to the press, write letters in newspapers. Do whatever you have to do, but don't let it drop.

Go get the bastard!!

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Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos