A man who wanted the public to know that security had failed to detect a knife he had mistakenly carried on two flights in Florida got what he wanted _ and more. The FBI is trying to decide whether to charge him.
John H. Skye, 72, said he forgot that he had the pocketknife with him, in a fanny pack, when he boarded the Cape Air flights Wednesday from Naples to Key West and back. Skye said airport security guards never discovered it.
"I just think it should be brought out. If security is that good since Sept. 11, how did I get through with a knife in my possession?" Skye asked Thursday.
Cape Air spokeswoman Michelle Haynes said the airline is investigating.
"If he did have a knife on the plane, that was a major security lapse," she said.
Officers and security guards were notified Wednesday night by a Cape Air crew on a flight from Key West that a "rowdy passenger" was on board, according to Naples police reports.
After the plane landed, Skye told security officers that he was annoyed because the flight had been delayed in Key West, where he and his wife had spent the day sightseeing. Security officers said they could smell alcohol on his breath.
Skye said he had had four drinks in Key West.
He also said that during the flight back to Naples, he remembered the folding knife with a 6-inch blade in his fanny pack. He said the knife was in the bag when he went through airport security the first time in Naples.
"I just forgot it was there," Skye said.
He opened the knife to show the security officers who talked to him after the flight back to Naples. He said he wanted them to know about the security problem, police reports staid.
Airport security officer Victor Nittolo said Skye wanted him to go on television to publicly report the security lapse. Instead, Nittolo took the knife and called police. Police gave the knife to FBI agents, who took over the case.
"We are looking into it," said FBI agent Cory Nelson. He said he didn't know when the investigation would be completed.
A person convicted of carrying a weapon on a passenger plane faces up to 10 years in prison, said FBI spokeswoman Pam Salerno.
Haynes said Cape Air security guards use metal detection wands to check passengers for potential weapons on flights to and from Key West.
"So far, all we have is his word that he had a knife on the plane," she said.
If the investigation shows that Skye did have a knife on the flights, "we're going to have to recheck our security procedures," she said.