Hannibal’s Crossing Of The TSA: Arizona Man Sues Agency After Arrest For Airport Joke

NF943787SI have previously written about the myth created by TSA that jokes at an airport security point about bombs constitute a crime. Now we have another case for this ignoble list involving Frank Hannibal, 50, who was arrested for making a simple joke to his wife and family about the ruckus caused by his jar of Crazy Richards peanut butter. He is now rightfully suing the TSA for $5 million and a verdict in his favor would do wonders to rein in this runaway agency.


The Arizona man brought the jar of extra crunchy peanut butter to his flight from LaGuardia Airport when TSA personnel seemed baffled by the separation of the oil from the natural peanut butter. They appear to be Jiffy eaters and not familiar with natural peanut butter. While they waited as the TSA personnel gathered around the peanut butter contemplating its meaning, Hannibal was asked by his family what was causing the delay and remarked to his wife and children “They’re looking to confiscate my explosives.”

TSA screener Edwin Sanchez overheard Hannibal’s remark and called the police. He was promptly arrested despite the fact that the simply made a quip, which is protected by the first amendment. He spent 24 hours in jail and was charged with “falsely reporting an incident”. The charge is clearly false and designed to harass a citizen. Yet, the police officer was not charged or his supervisors or the TSA agents who called the police.

Despite the lack of legal foundation and the violation of free speech protections, airport security continue to warn citizens that they can be arrested for jokes. Even absurd and abusive arrests like Hannibals do not result in discipline — a strong message to agents that the government wants to create this chilling affect by harassing and detaining citizens.

Source: Infowars

41 thoughts on “Hannibal’s Crossing Of The TSA: Arizona Man Sues Agency After Arrest For Airport Joke

  1. That’s interesting. I was told by the FBI to do just that…a Supervisor John Dysart of the FBI in Ohio, told me to go to an airport and tell them I had a bomb.
    Of course HE was just making a joke, when I was contacting him about a FOIA request, and he was trying to withhold information.

    So does a joke about a joke to the TSA make you eligible for arrest??

  2. Wow…. I’m in the corner of dismantling the TSA…. This is absurd… Another Bush experience…. I guess it’s based on his leave no child behind…. A dismal failure….

  3. Runaway agency or agency with knuckleheads they need to fire? I’m a doubter about most post-9/11 security measures, but pre-9/11, you had idiot screeners who worked for rent-a-cop organizations. I once carried a set of heirloom silver to my sister in California (I wasn’t going to ship it) and the cake spatula nearly made me miss my plane.

  4. Where, Do. They. Get. These, People? Is there a test that eliminates any candidates that have a scintilla of critical thinking? Only robots need apply? Put me in that corner with Gene H. and AY, Enough already.,Goombye TSA,. And the Patriot Act ,,, don’t even get me started.

  5. So does a joke about a joke to the TSA make you eligible for arrest??

    Absolutely! It’s incitement.
    If the joke to the TSA is a crime, then suggesting to someone that they commit that crime is incitement – or possibler conspiracy? – even if this is intended as a joke.
    The logic is inescapable.

  6. Qups in front of the TSA are like shouting Fire in a crowded theatre and are therefore an exception to the First Amendment. But you must consider the Ninth Amendment and the right of privacy argument, taken together with the Establishment Clause Prong of the First Amendment. The separation of the oil is like church and state and never the Twain shall meet and it was a matter of his personal privacy — like going into his underwear to see if he was kinky.

  7. What Gene said earlier. The TSA is an agency gone wild and needs to be curtailed. Maybe a large settlement in the victim’s favor will help speed up the process to control the TSA.

  8. The TSA agents may not be idiots. They simply have no discretion. Zero. It’s in the job description. Applicants are literally advised that the position they are applying for has a ZERO tolerance ZERO discretion policy, and they have to agree to that in order to apply for the job.

    That there was a confab was probably because they were looking for any way not arrest the guy for his peanut butter joke. The problem, of course, is much further up the Federal food chain than the TSA agents.

  9. I suspect the TSA draws its employees from the same pool that supplies elementary school administrators. Has anyone tried showing a paper gun drawing to a TSA employee?

  10. since this thread is about government over-reach, this might be a good place to post this video from Paul Krugman who spoke at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington :

    “Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give…. …. We’re going to need more revenue…Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well.. We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits . So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”

  11. Here is how all of can maybe make a difference.

    Every time you fly, demand a pat down. Do not go through the scanners, the health effects are not as they claim due to the energy being absorbed in the tip few millimeters of your skin.

    Do the pat down in public. Do not let them take you to a back room. If more of us did this they just might eventually modify this ridicules procedure.

    And I have always wondered. How does the Federal government have the right to interfere with your contract (your ticket) with a private company to fly on their airplane? Let the airline determine how best to do security. It’s their airplane. I’m sure they don’t want it blown up or flown into the ground.

    Skip the scan, do the pat down in public.

  12. The problem is with the TSA for sure and if there is a zero tolerance as posted earlier I understand the behavior of the agents. They need to be reined in for sure but that money is from us the taxpayer. I think we tend to forget that and there needs to be a better way to call them to order. (That being said how ridiculous what they did to this guy – and so many others.) Maybe if the money came out of the pockets of the agency higher ups, and congressmen, and pres too who wrote these rules it would result in change, really, really fast.

  13. Make the secretary of homelands security personally pay the judgement with contributions from everyone involved.

  14. An idiot is arrested by some more idiots.

    We’ve all heard enough stories about how these “terror jokes” won’t fly. Shouldn’t Hannibal have exercised some common sense? Cmon!

  15. First of all the guy is a complete fool for making a comment like that in front of TSA staff. These kinds of comments are treated seriously. Everybody knows that unless they are living in a bubble.

    You said Jonathan–

    “Despite the lack of legal foundation and the violation of free speech protections, airport security continue to warn citizens that they can be arrested for jokes”

    From what I can see people are not only arrested for jerking around but are successfully prosecuted for doing so.

    So if there is no legal foundation for this why are judges allowing the prosecutions to proceed to conclusion and for convictions to be finalised?

    I hope the guy wins his litigation because only then will the TSA and others possibly adopt a more realistic approach to stupid behaviour rather than responding to it with like stupid and grossly excessive policies and procedures.

  16. @Paul Let the airline determine how best to do security.

    That’s who used to do it, before the TSA, and they didn’t have their people stealing from luggage and all these other problems.

  17. from the infowars site
    Hannibal spent the next 24 hours in a cell, during which time he was fed a peanut butter sandwich by cops who later charged him with the felony of “falsely reporting an incident.
    ~+~
    What ? giving explosives to an inmate?

    And for the TSA. How the heck can they be expected to recognize Semtex or dynamite when they cannot even recognize peanut butter.

  18. Darren,

    To quote one of the great American culinary experts, Mr. H.J. Simpson, “Mmmmmmm. Sweet, sweet explosives. (drool)”

  19. Let me get on a little rant about Obama since a couple of those a day seems to take care of my utter disdain for OUR STUPID POLITICIANS. To wit: one f–king word from our screener-in-chief (followed up by the obligatory 40 pages of regulations) could, just possibly, stop these keystone cops dead in their tracks. I’m not hopeful.

    Repeal the Patriot Act!

  20. He didn’t report anything, even in jest. He said a quip to his family, he isn’t even guilty of a technical violation. Seriously, how hard is it to read the law?

  21. This is not an agency gone wild. This is what governments normally do. Governments are dinosaurs: big, vicious, expensive to feed, and they have brains the size of a walnut.
    And yet you people think that if we just replace the government agents with more intelligent people it will get better. Or change this procedure or that one or the other! It’s like asking a voodoo priest to dance differently in order to cure you. it will not work because government is incapable of solving problems, just like a witch doctor is incapable of curing disease.
    Stop believing in the witch doctor. Stop believing in government! they are both myths!

  22. Dredd,

    Watch how you tease mad dogs! Or ex-pat Americans.

    I wrote myself that I had not found anything in English by or on Bjursell which would convey his talent as a lecturer.

    Fine. You did not find anything either. Google crapped out or whatever search engine you used.

    Proves that he should have lectured less and published more papers in English, and addressed american scientific conferences. Or whatever.

    He’s not perfect. Are you? If you can’t speak another language don’t take it out on me. See language post above.

    Crypto-criticism etc makes me angry, and I will expose you for the proto-bully that you are.

    Now go back and challenge GeneH. He is more in your league. Denigrating the handicapped*** is BAD IMHO.

    I know a little about a lot, but not a lot about anything. And that I have said before.

    ***Sat briefly beside a mentally handicapped Chinese child on the underground today. I said Hello in Mandarin (universally spoken nowadays by educated Chinese as second language) and got no response in the eyes. The mom/minder lifted her up, a heavy child, after only one station.

    I don’t aspire to be an alpha dog, in any genre. I am content to express myself, and take the ridicule that I deserve. But yours stank of bullying.

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