TSA Arrests Man Over Peanut Butter

It happened last year when Frank Hannibal was questioned by a TSA agent at LaGuardia airport about his “all-natural” peanut butter that he was trying to carry on with him. He joked to his wife and twin daughters that the TSA were “trying to confiscate his explosives.” That obviously didn’t go over too well with the TSA agent who was baffled and concerned about the layer of oil that sat at the top of the peanut butter, a notable inconvenience of all-natural peanut butter, but one that has nothing to do with explosives.

The TSA agent reacted by calling the police, and Hannibal was detained for about 25 hours, during which time he was ironically fed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, probably not made with peanut butter of the “natural” variety, but rather the partially-hydrogenated soybean oil variety and jelly infused with high-fructose corn syrup and sodium benzoate. He was being charged with “falsely reporting an incident,” which is a felony.

Eventually, Hannibal was free to go, and the TSA graciously returned his peanut butter. The Queens district attorney decided not to prosecute him, but Hannibal thought it was utterly ridiculous that he was treated like a terrorist for making a joke about his peanut butter. I admit, he probably should have just kept his mouth shut, but he is from New York. They do seem to have a hard time keeping their mouths closed in these types of situations. They don’t mince words. I’m not insulting them. It just seems to be their nature, and all it takes is one brainless TSA agent (is there any other type?) to ruin someone else’s travel plans by landing that person in jail for something he didn’t do.

Now, Hannibal is bringing a $5 million lawsuit against the TSA agent and the police officer who detained him. His lawyer Alan Levine said that “it’s a sorry state of affairs in this country when sarcasm is considered a felony.”

The TSA is too busy groping people and harrassing passengers about cakes, cupcakes, pies, gravy, candy and peanut butter to notice the swords, guns, drugs and explosives that do get through:

 “According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful in slipping simulated explosives and bomb parts through Los Angeles’s LAX airport in 50 out of 70 attempts, and at Chicago’s O’Hare airport agents made 75 attempts and succeeded in getting through undetected 45 times.”

A lot of good the TSA is doing keeping that peanut butter out of our airports. The last thing we need is a passenger blowing up a plane with all-natural peanut butter.


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  • Amanda-Beth

    He should sue. It clearly was stupid tsa whom falsley reported he is the 1 who belongs in jail. A dad was being a dad he was having fun attempting to tell his girls a joke. The girls may have giggled politely daddy jokes are never that funny but they try. His wife probably rolled her eyes and scolded him at home about the right place for joking which is as should be done. But seriously a jar of penut butter ridclous esp if its sealed. That tsa agent is moron.

  • http://www.numbersusa.com nax777

    What’s more ridiculous is Pub supporters defending the cost, manpower and intrusions of the DHS and TSA. Yet they find stricter laws and enforcement on immigration as too costly, too much manpower and too intrusive to implement.
    Most of the 9/11 murderers entered legally, stayed illegally, trained in the US, dots not connected because of protected eased immigration policies. Yet Pub supporters do not call for a return to stricter immigration policies let alone a simple huge reduction in legal immigration numbers because it is too, now get this embarrassing to support.
    Pub voters out there, do you really believe that we have an immigration problem because our immigration laws are too tough?! http://www.saynotoamnesty.com

  • http://yahoo john

    i have very little respect for the tsa. but this dad is a total and complete idiot to make a statement they're trying to confiscate my explosives. how stupid can someone get saying this, especially in an airport. now this guy is suing the tsa and the policeman who responded? unbelievable. i hope he doesn't get one red cent. if he does we will be the one who will get stuck paying someone for making an absolutely moronic statement.

  • 1ofthemany

    Consider the source of the TSA non-educated bullies and there ya go, Kinda like the bullies in grammar or high school that are probably today idiots still, clear to me but not to some as many are still brainwashed, including these people handing out the stupidity and insults to good old regular Americans being pushed into socialist acts by design and not by the good old American's doings, I trust he will win as all are so tired of this B$.

  • Mare

    I hope the guy does win his law suit against the rogue TSA because they deserve to be exposed. Maybe if they have to shell out 3 million....even if it's tax payer money....Congress will have to order a hearing for an explanation. This will result in publicity and perhaps more backlash from the public.
    TSA keeps pushing the limit and one of these days they're going to push too far.

  • Robert

    i don't like tsa - they're unnecessary at best. frankly they're another reason in the long line of reasons why the u.s. is going aground... as the autopsy will show.

  • CaptTurbo

    TSA is the dumbest thing Bush ever did. Now the Kenyan impostor has the controls. I can't see how this could turn out well.

  • Larry

    Even the foolish man, when he keeps quiet, is taken to be wise: when his lips are shut he is credited with good sense. Proverbs 17:28

  • Master Sergeant,Ret

    This what you get when mentally challenged people are hired to do a job which requires some knowledge and common sense. I knew when I was five years old that natural peanut butter has oil on top of it. My Mom taught me that.

  • Neat Rice

    TSA is so not needed! When they first appeared on the scene, they bragged that they were going to be the biggest government in the US. I ask why, since airports already had layers of security, airport security, sheriff’s department and local law enforcement. The Assistant Director responded that those people weren’t trained. My response, then (and now), TRAIN THEM. TSA is a very expensive organization that has no redeeming qualification. Never go to them at the airport with a problem, they will blame the airlines, the airport security, etc., never themselves.

  • noreen cerino

    While he shouldn't have made a joke about explosives, being detained for 25 hours is beyond ridiculous. It does show the average intelligence level of the typical TSA agent, which is certainly nothing to brag about.

  • betsy

    Several years ago, when they first started inspecting luggage, I nearly missed my flight with my 3 children (8, 10, 14) because my middle son had picked up a rock on the beach that was shaped somewhat like an arrowhead. It was in his backpack, and I didn't know he had even found it, and he couldn't figure out why they were so interested in his backpack.

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    Of course this TSA moron didn't recognize "real" peanut butter. They don't get out much. And Nazi's generally don't have much of a sense of humor.

  • WASP

    It's painfully obvious that a prerequisite for being a TSA agent is to be a certifiable paranoid schizophrenic.

  • Robert Hayes Halfpenny

    I wasn't born in NYC, but I was conceived there and I know my Mom was drinking the water at the time. I guess that I have that NYC "in your face attitude" when I run into situations like this. We really do have a dumbing down of America and it is a problem we have to address.

    I have had a sterling silver key chain with a nail file confiscated, I was "wanded" in the groin three times during ONE security check, and was told to submit to a strip search because my artificial set off all sorts of bells and whistles.

    On each occasion I was well groomed, exceptionally well dressed with both of my children with me. On the first I did surrender my key ring (without the keys)

    On the second occasion I did raise Hell at the airport and later with the TSA by phone. (I got a lip service apology).

    On the third occasion I adamantly refused the strip search and was "taken aside". A senior TSA guy came to handle the situation and found out the only words I would use with regularity was, "I'll sue." Security was then called in and discovered what the term "righteous indignation" was all about. Finally A young man with the air line also showed up (I think they were afraid of being stuck with two young kids if I were arrested). He was very apologetic and asked if I would mind dropping the waistband of my trousers and shorts just enough to show the incision. I did demand everyone in the room leave with the exception of the senior security man and the airline agent. That request also met with some resistance, but fortunately i did prevail.

    I have finally decided that rather than fly I will drive unless I can find one of the few good Amtrak trains that offer dining/bar cars and full sleeping car service. I have thus far taken two trips this way and found them to be totally enjoyable. It is true they take longer and cost more, but now that I am retired I can take the time and I justify the cost by staying longer.

    I am actually of the opinion that rail travel could easily be the wave of the future. Trains work beautifully in Europe and are run the way our trains used to be run when the 20th century was still young.

  • QuisPercusit

    T erribly S tupid A merikaners, T oo S mug A uthority, T ransportation S crewup A gency, need I say more.

  • mikey

    And what if Mr Hannibal was an undercover tsa agent testing the agents at LaGuardia? Would we still believe they were being heavy handed? Or would we say well done? I understand it is just peanut butter but how stupid do you have to be to joke about bombs in an airport in this day and age!