Toy dog causes stink
A novelty dog toy which breaks wind as it bends over sparked a major security alert at a US airport, its stunned owner said today. Designer Dave Rogerson said he could not believe what was happening to him when the life-size mechanical terrier set off an explosives detector at Norfolk airport in Virginia.
Armed security staff sprang into action after something in the dog’s “wind breaking” mechanism apparently registered as the high explosive TNT on their sensitive equipment. Rogerson, 31, from Leeds, was grilled by FBI agents and looked on in amazement as they took a series of swabs from the replica animal’s rear end.
They eventually returned the dog but stopped Rogerson taking his planned flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, and re-routed him via Philadelphia. “They told me it was the highest reading they had for explosives and they took it very seriously,” said Rogerson. “They were very jumpy and convinced there was something explosive in the dog.”
Rogerson, who was heading home from the US when the incident happened earlier this month, said he was not formally arrested but was held for a number of hours for questioning. He said the situation was made worse because he had placed his passport and boarding card under the dog as it passed through the sensor machine. When the agents demanded his papers he had to tell them they were in the isolation zone around the dog. Rogerson said: “They were very, very serious. They weren’t aggressive but I got a real grilling. “I couldn’t believe where the FBI agents were putting their swabs. “They must have got whatever it was off the dog because they let me have it back.” Rogerson said he had named the dog Norfolk, after the airport.