Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence to Try Man on Pump-Related Charges

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Mardin Amin may face a trial on charges of felony disorderly conduct after an incident at O’Hare Airport on August 16 in which a security official said she heard him state that he had a bomb.  Amin argues that she misheard him because of his heavy accent which leads to trouble distinguishing between the sounds of "p" and "b."  So what she heard, he says, was something like "bump," which sounded to her like "bomb," but was really him saying "pump," which was the sexual device that the official had pulled out of his backpack and was holding up in front of him and his mother.

It really does seem unfair how they keep changing the rules on what you can and can’t carry on.

According to Amin’s attorney, Arabic speakers (Amin is an Iraqi) sometimes have trouble with "p" and "b," and she herself did not understand what he was talking about until he brought the bump to her office.  The problem was made worse, she says, because Amin was understandably embarrassed to discuss the item in front of his mother, and so he was not enunciating clearly.  Amin has also pointed out that it is relatively unlikely that he would have announced at a security checkpoint that he had a bomb, whether he really had one or not, much less try to explain a merely embarrassing object as a much more dangerous one.

Those seem like pretty good arguments.  Less good was Amin’s followup when talking to reporters after the hearing; he told them that he did not think it was a big deal to have (or, apparently, travel with) a bump, because it’s so common.  "It’s normal," he said.  "Half of America they use it."  No, half of America (which of course would be 100 percent of the men) they do not use it, and those who do probably don’t use it in-flight.  Although I don’t really know much about what goes on in first class.

Despite the other good arguments Amin has, the Cook County judge ruled this week that there was at least enough evidence for the case to go forward, based on the security guard’s testimony that she "clearly" heard Amin say "bomb."  He could face up to three years in prison if convicted.

Link: AP via My Way News