Baggage screener arrested at BWI

Worker is charged with posing as officer from Baltimore County

November 16, 2001|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

A baggage screener at Baltimore-Washington International Airport has been arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer after security officials discovered him wearing his wife's Baltimore County police badge.

William Darnell Jackson Jr., 36, of the 500 block of Molly Court in Edgewood, was also charged with making false statements during questioning by officials about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday in the airport's international terminal, Pier E.

Airport officials are trying to determine Jackson's motives.

"There was no indication that Mr. Jackson was posing a threat to anyone," said Cpl. Greg Prioleau, a spokesman for Maryland Transportation Authority police. "But this is definitely not the time to be playing jokes if that was the intent."

Jackson, who is married to Tonya Jackson, an officer in the White Marsh police precinct, worked as a baggage screener for Wackenhut Security.

A Maryland National Guardsman working at the airport noticed Jackson wearing the police badge around his neck, according to court documents.

The guardsman asked Jackson if he was a police officer or a baggage screener. Jackson replied "both," according to court documents. The guardsman then contacted transportation authority police Officer Anthony Cook.

"I asked [Jackson] if there was a police officer working at the screening point. He stated `yes,'" Cook wrote in Jackson's charging document. "I then asked him whom the officer was that was working. He stated `me.'"

Jackson, who began working for Wackenhut on Oct. 22, presented the badge and said he worked at the White Marsh precinct.

Cook called the precinct and was told Jackson was not an officer. He then asked Jackson for the badge. "He stated that he had given it to his brother and that his brother had left the building," the charging document states. Police found the badge under a trash can in the pier. Jackson was arrested and released on his own recognizance.

Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a Baltimore County police spokeswoman, said commanders are reviewing how Jackson got his wife's badge.

"We do know she did not give him permission to take the badge and did not have knowledge of him taking the badge," Warehime said. A spokesman for Wackenhut said Jackson has been suspended.

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