Man Arrested For Wearing A Watch That Looked Like A Bomb Detonator Not Charged

Photo: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office

If you wear a watch or a shirt or anything else resembling a bomb through a TSA checkpoint, should you really be surprised if the TSA agent you encounter that day isn’t amused?

OAKLAND — The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges against a Southern California artist and teacher arrested last week at Oakland International Airport for wearing a suspicious watch.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office on Monday did not elaborate on why charges weren’t filed against Geoffrey McGann, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes.

McGann was arrested at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday after airport security found him wearing a watch that looked like a timing device for an explosive, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

defense attorney Douglas Horngrad said his client was set to appear in court Monday on the charge but that when the two showed up at Alameda County Superior Court a clerk told them the case had been dismissed. Horngrad said McGann did not have any harmful materials, didn’t intend to harm anyone and didn’t pose a threat to anyone.

He accused Transportation Security Administration and Alameda County sheriff’s officials of “overreacting” and said the prosecutor’s decision “illustrates the unreasonableness of law enforcement’s actions here.”

Believe me, I’m no fan of the grab and grope TSA, but sometimes a little common sense on the part of passengers is called for. If you “art” has a flip switch, batteries, wire coils, etc. maybe you should put it in your checked luggage or better yet leave it at home.

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