Officials unsure why man evaded airport security

Jan 11, 2012, 9:56 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Authorities said Wednesday that they do not know what prompted a New Hampshire man to evade the security line at Sacramento International Airport, leading a sheriff’s deputy to shock the man three times with a stun gun.

Edwin Barton, 26, arrived Tuesday on a Southwest Airlines flight but told security officials he needed to go back inside the airport’s secure area to retrieve bus tickets he had left on his flight. He objected to going through the screening process and ran toward a secure area before he was stunned with a Taser gun.

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration and Sacramento County sheriff’s department said he was not carrying anything dangerous.

“We don’t have any idea why he escalated things to the extent he did,” sheriff’s Deputy Jason Ramos said. “He had nothing on his person or in his bag that would constitute a threat to himself, the airline or any other passengers. So we’re scratching our head, really.”

“He just didn’t want to go through the screening process,” TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said. “It would be pure speculation on our part why he did what he did.”

Ramos said that after Barton was shocked with a Taser, he tried to pull out the barbs and was stunned two more times. He was handcuffed and evaluated at a hospital before being booked into jail.

Ramos said there were no indications that Barton was impaired by drugs, alcohol or mental illness.

Barton, of Hindale, N.H., had traveled to Sacramento from Connecticut, with a connecting flight in Chicago. Ramos said he did not know of Barton’s plans in California.

Barton was cited for two misdemeanors and spent the night in Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and avoiding screening and inspection at an airport. There was no indication Barton had retained a lawyer, Ramos said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Officials unsure why man evaded airport security