Hopkins traveler finds marshal's gun

04/10/04

Mark Rollenhagen
Plain Dealer Reporter


A federal air marshal walked into a stall in a public restroom Thursday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and walked out a little lighter. She left her gun on a shelf.

Fortunately, a scrupulous traveler found the semiautomatic handgun minutes later and immediately contacted a Continental Airlines worker, who took the gun and turned it over to police.


The restroom is near Gate C-3, beyond security checkpoints. Anyone who picked up the gun could easily have carried it onto a plane.

"It's an unfortunate situation, and we're taking it very seriously," said Dave Adams, a national spokesman for the air marshals. "It's being looked into, and then we will take the appropriate action."

He declined to identify the employee, for security reasons.

Adams said that such an incident typically results in a suspension, but as of Friday afternoon, the marshal was still working.

"Until you look at the entire investigation, it's sort of premature," Adams said.

He said the marshal is assigned to the agency's Cleveland office and has been on the job for a little less than two years.

"She has been a solid, outstanding employee," Adams said.

"There have been no prior conduct or disciplinary issues. Obviously, we're concerned about our employees leaving weapons behind."

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