Saturday, January 20, 2007

NFL quarterback's fake water bottle intercepted at MIA

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick didn't really think he could pass through security screening at Miami International Airport with a fake water bottle, did he? Didn't he know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now prohibits passengers from carrying water bottles aboard aircraft, unless they're obtained from a vendor inside the secure area of an airport?

Guess not.

A few days ago, in preparation for boarding an AirTran flight to Atlanta, Mike Vick arrived at the security screening point at MIA carrying a 20 0z. Aquafina water bottle. TSA screeners reportedly told him he would have to surrender the bottle. They noted that Vick seemed unusually hesitant to hand over the bottle, and that made them suspicious.

A screener later retrieved the bottle from the trash receptacle, examined it, and discovered that it was not an authentic Aquafina water bottle at all. Instead it turned out to be a fake water bottle with a hidden compartment inside. Florida news website reports:
The bottle was found to have a compartment that contained "a small amount of dark particulate and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana,'' the police report said. The compartment was hidden by the bottle's label so that it appeared to be a full bottle of water when held upright, police said.
Police in Miami said it will be weeks before they decide whether to file charges.

FYI, the bottle was like the one pictured above. It's a gadget (called a 'diversion safe') that sells for for $19.99 on the website of a company called Metro Spy Supply in Atlanta. The product blurb on the site says:
The aquafina diversion safe looks like the real thing using real water, but this aquafina water has a twist. It has room for more than just water. Twist and pull the bottle in half to reveal a hidden compartment and push and twist to lock it in place. Hand made for a precision fit to keep you secret safe.
Ah, but the secret is safe no more!

UPDATE Jan. 22, 2007: An article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, republished on the Airport Business website, says that tests by a Miami police lab indicated that a substance in a water bottle he tried to get through airport security last week was not illegal, so no charges will be filed against Mike Vick.