KAHULUI, Hawaii (Feb. 29) - A man drove a sport utility vehicle into the ticket lobby of Maui's main airport Sunday, then set the vehicle on fire, grounding outgoing flights for hours.
A sports utility vehicle is shown in the ticket lobby at Kahului Airport Sunday morning. (Ed Tanji, The Maui News)
No one was injured in the incident, which the FBI said was not an act of terrorism.
The man set the Dodge Durango on fire after driving it into Kahului Airport's open-air terminal, said Lowrey Leong, the director of the Transportation Security Administration on Maui.
"I went to knock on the window and he just lit it up,'' baggage handler Kalani Hoopii told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Hoopii said he saw a can of gasoline and a man flicking a lighter.
Flames rose to the ceiling out of the vehicle, which was about 20 feet from the United Airlines ticket counter, Leong said.
The driver, believed to be in his 40s, was in custody and was being questioned by Maui police, officials said. His identity was not immediately released.
The man's motivation was not known, but "there's no reason to believe there's a terrorism nexus,'' said Pam McCullough, a spokeswoman for the FBI. "There's no cause for alarm.''
The crash and fire halted flights for several hours. The airport was evacuated and hundreds of would-be passengers were bused to War Memorial Gymnasium and elsewhere to wait, officials said.
The incident caused no major damage to the airport, but smoke from the fire caused problems with security screening equipment, said Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for the state Transportation Department. Ishikawa said baggage probably would be screened by hand when the airport reopened.
02/29/04 22:51 EST
View Poll Results: Do you think this act deserve a domestic terrorism charge?
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03-01-2004, 04:07 AM #1
If this is not domestic terrorism, what is?I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
03-01-2004, 07:12 AM #2
I have to side with the FBI on this. There is no reason to suspect terrorism. Just a disturbed person committing some crimes that have been on the books for years. Not every crime committed these days is terrorism. Sometimes it's easy to see it as terrorism because we are taught to look for the worst possible scenerio and eer on the side of caution.
What would be terrorism? I think that if he had jumped out waving a device resembeling a WMD then the FBI may have had a different view of the incident.
03-01-2004, 10:58 AM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Usually terrorism is an act meant to cause fear and intimidation to further a political cause. I don't think that a political motivation has been established here, although not having all the facts it is not out of the realm of possibility.
03-01-2004, 11:27 AM #4
I say nope ...........merely deranged.IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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03-01-2004, 12:02 PM #5
- Join Date
- Dec 1998
- Black Hawk VFD, South Dakota
Perhaps he had overindulged in some Maui Wowie.
03-01-2004, 03:51 PM #6
FBI defines terrorism as:
A violent act or an act dangerous to human life in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any segment to intimidate or coerce the government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof.
Domestic terrorism originates in the US.
Was this violent? Yup. Did it intimidate or coerce a segment of the civilian population? Yup. Does it meet the FBI definition? Yup. Would I personally call it an act of terrorism? Nope."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
03-01-2004, 04:05 PM #7
I say that the FBI was wrong on this call. They have been wrong on a lot of calls they have made. Score one for the guy driving the vehicle. Maybe next time, when he drives into a school or hospital building and we have life loss, the FBI will call this an act of terroism. Maybe not. You can never tell about those G-Men.
03-02-2004, 08:08 AM #8
I don't think this was terrorism. It is easy to get caught up in this and call every crime committed at an airport, bus terminal, train station etc. terrorism.
I think some disturbed people realize this and then carry out their crimes with the expectation of notoriety resulting from their "terrorist act".
We should keep the crime in context. Terrorism existed before 9/11/01. Would we even be having this discussion if the events of 9/11 had not occurred?"We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."
03-02-2004, 08:39 AM #9
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
Remember, in the eyes of the More "Tolerant" people of this land ...ehem ehem LIBERAL ******BAGS ehem ehem....you basically have to announce to everyone that you are a terrorist, prior to, during and after your attack. If you die in your attack, you are nothing more than a "Domestic Whackjob who's wife probably left him for the milkman" and not a terrorist because you did not adhere to the ...ehem ehem LIBERAL ******BAG ehem ehem.....code of terrorist identification.
Anyhow, sounds like terrorism to me. But I am just another member of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" who is out to take away the freedoms and rights of people who want to kill me because I am a White Christian who thinks the people of Israel are being terrorized by a guy wearing a bad Toga Party outfit....
03-02-2004, 09:28 PM #10
If he was trying to make some sort of religious, political or other such statement, then yes. If not, which it sounds like, then he's just a deranged criminal.
I agree with Duffman...just because it happened at an airport doesn't make it terrorism.Chris Gaylord
Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD
03-02-2004, 10:22 PM #11Originally posted by Rayr49
Perhaps he had overindulged in some Maui Wowie.
Stay Low, Stay Safe
03-03-2004, 08:24 AM #12
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- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
This Just In.....................
I am told that he was an agent of Amtrak Now!, which is an organization which is trying to force the Airlines out of existance.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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03-03-2004, 02:18 PM #13
LOL I wonder if he could run the 2' gauge monopoly of Hawian railroads.I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
03-05-2004, 05:43 AM #14
France : ten thousand French railway personnel searched the 32.000KM long rail network for bombs.
The putative terrorist group AZF threatened the railway with bomb attacks unless they were prepared to pay 5 Million euros
On Feb. 21 a bomb was found, but disarmed, no further bombs were found since then.*The BOSS rules*
03-05-2004, 08:51 AM #15
I departed Kahului Airport just 9 hours prior to the incident. Shucks....missed it. Could have been stuck in paradise another day...hee hee!
Federal charge filed in airport case
By MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writer
HONOLULU - A federal charge of disrupting the services of an airport has been brought against Paul Blatchley, a 52-year-old Haiku man who drove a sport utility vehicle into the Kahului Airport ticket lobby Sunday, then set it on fire.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wes Porter said on Tuesday that Blatchley's actions were charged as a violation of a U.S. Code relating to violence at an international airport.
Blatchley made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Oahu Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi. Blatchley's public defender, Shanlyn Park, did not comment on the case.
Porter said Blatchley is being held at the Federal Detention Center on Oahu while awaiting a detention hearing on Friday. A preliminary hearing on the charge against him was set for March 15.
Charges against Blatchley by Maui police have been dropped by the Maui County prosecutor's office, said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Tam. Blatchley had been charged with first-degree attempted murder and criminal property damage, state offenses that carry maximum penalties of life in prison without parole and 10 years imprisonment, respectively.
Tam said Tuesday morning that it would be possible to renew the state charges against Blatchley, although he indicated that would be unlikely since the Haiku man will be prosecuted through the federal courts.
Porter said he doesn't know if any other federal charges will be brought against Blatchley, noting that the investigation is ongoing.
According to documents filed in support of the charge in federal court, investigators found three containers of gasoline in the vehicle that was set on fire. The situation that could have resulted in an explosion if the fire had not been contained and extinguished within 10 or 15 minutes by airport and Maui County firefighters.
Porter said the charge involving violence at an international airport could carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, but that would depend on the details of the case.
"We're not exactly sure how the guidelines would factor out. What the eventual sentence could be would probably be guessing at this point," he said.
But the charge is supported by the facts of the case.
"This is what the guy did: He disrupted service . . disrupted service of airports," Porter said.
The incident Sunday morning halted departing airport traffic for 9 1/2 hours, stranding hundreds of travelers, many of whom remained on Maui for an additional day or longer. Flights coming into Kahului were able to land and disembark passengers on Sunday, but a number of flights left Maui empty.
Blatchley drove a dark blue Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle into the south end of the Kahului Airport ticket lobby via a disabled-access ramp around 7:58 a.m. Sunday.
The vehicle stopped 20 feet short of ticket counters. Officials said no people were in the area at the time, and no injuries were reported.
When Blatchley stopped the vehicle, several airport porters approached the vehicle and said they saw him pour a flammable liquid in the back seat and ignite it. Several agricultural inspectors initially pulled him from the burning vehicle, while he protested and struggled. Security guards eventually subdued him.
A friend who shared a house with Blatchley, Francis Lobik, said Monday that Blatchley had been depressed for some time, blaming himself for being unable to revive a swimmer who drowned at Makena Beach a month ago.
He said Blatchley had no prior criminal record and is in need of counseling, not incarceration.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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03-08-2004, 11:06 PM #16
You know the problem with calling every deranged nutbar a terrorist is that it dilutes the value and meaning of the term with every new crazy idiot.
If you honestly want the population to continue to take the real terrorist threat seriously, you need to stop trying to tell them that every person on the corner is a terrorist.
They are already well on their way back to the same old condition of apathy and disbelief that allowed those events to happen in the first place.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
03-09-2004, 06:43 AM #17
Terrorism : committing acts of violence in order to demoralize (a part of the) population to achieve political or religious objectives*The BOSS rules*
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