It was shortly before midnight on July 3rd, when United Airlines flight attendants at BWI Airport alerted police that they had stopped a suspicious man after he set off an alarm, entering a secured door leading to a jet way from the international terminal.
When Maryland Transportation Authority police arrived, 23-year-old John Edward Hill, Jr. of Westminster told them he was just trying to board his plane.
"He did not have a boarding pass,” said Cpl. Edward Bartlinski of the MDTA Police, “He had no other luggage or bags or with him."
According to charging documents, when officers asked Hill for his boarding pass, he repeatedly pointed to his water bottle, and there was more.
"Through the course of the investigation, they conducted a pat down of this person and retrieved a small knife from his waistband," said Bartlinski.
A review of security cameras later showed hill "walk passed a TSA agent sitting at the entrance to the security screening point as he assisted another passenger".
As for the four-inch, black folding knife later found in Hill's waistband, images show him walking "through the x-ray screening that alerted to the presence of a metal object, but a pat down of hill was conducted by a TSA agent who did not locate an item at the time".
Investigators have ruled out terrorism, and while the case points to lapses in security at the screening point, the alert actions of the airline attendants and police ultimately stopped Hill.
"We responded with an overwhelming sense of force, because when you get a call like this, you never know what it could be so we responded and secured the scene and made everything safe for everybody in the airport,” said Bartlinski, “The traveling public was safe throughout this whole investigation."