Charges Dropped In O’Hare Penis Pump Scare

Airport SecurityCHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Mardin Amin’s mother is probably still wondering why people made such a big fuss over a silly pump: the kind used to inflate soccer balls and the like.
An embarrassed Amin told his mother it was that type of device — not, in actuality, a penis pump — that got him in trouble with O’Hare Airport security in August and prevented him from boarding an international flight with her.
But at least now the embarrassment and worry of having to appear in criminal court is over. Cook County prosecutors agreed Wednesday to drop a felony disorderly conduct charge against the Iraqi man, who faced up to three years in prison if convicted.
“You don’t believe it — I was dreaming about this court and what was going to happen,” said Amin, wearing a new, $250 blue suit he bought just for his date at the 26th and California courthouse. “It’s like a nightmare.”
Amin’s odd brush with the law began Aug. 16, when the 29-year-old, his two children and his mother were going through O’Hare security on a trip to Iraq. A security guard plucked a small, black rubber object from Amin’s hand luggage, and asked him about it. Unwilling to openly say the words “penis pump” while his mother stood near, Amin twice whispered something that, according to Amin, the guard misinterpreted as “bomb.”
Amin, who lives in Skokie, was promptly arrested and charged with a felony.
His attorney, Eileen M. O’Neill, said this week common sense demanded the Cook County state’s attorney’s office drop the charge.
“Right from the get-go, it made no sense that a guy who has worked as a translator for [the U.S.] Army in Iraq wouldn’t know the consequences of saying, ‘I have a bomb,’ ” O’Neill said.
John Gorman, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said the charges were dropped because the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration sent Amin a letter saying they only wished to issue a warning.
“Because the TSA was our victim and they didn’t wish to pursue [the case], we dropped the charges,” Gorman said.
A beaming Amin said he will now travel sans penis pump.
“Hell no,” he said. “That pump give me a lot of trouble.”
from The Chicago Sun-Times

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