BHM airport officer Manuel Richard Diaz Jr. (real officer, not fake TSA kind) shoots parking scoflaw

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Police abuse or aviation passenger security? It's already in the CATO recaps so I'll put the full post here.

    Besides, most people (aviation passengers or not) would consider being shot to be a definite security problem!

    My Fox AL: Birmingham officer indicted for 2011 altercation at airport (Aug 20 2012)

    A Birmingham police ... Manuel Richard Diaz, Jr. is accused of firing a gun into an occupied vehicle and third-degree assault. Police say Diaz was assigned to traffic duty at the terminal last November and he told someone they couldn't park in the pick-up lane. Police say the driver took off, but then came back. That's when police say Officer Diaz fired his gun. The driver was hit in the face and he released from the hospital the next day.

    Friendly advice from TUG: Park carefully at BHM. They tend to be a bit psychotic at times.
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Earlier story ...

    My Fox AL: Friend of man involved in airport shooting speaks out (Nov 18 2011)

    The business associate of a man involved in a shooting at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport is speaking out on his behalf. Mark Riches says he arrived at the airport from Nashville around 6:30 Thursday night for a business trip. He says his associate, Mark Wittman, was waiting to pick him up outside. "So I came off the plane and I'm at baggage claim and I text him saying, ‘I'm waiting for my bags'," Riches says. A few minutes later, he says he texts Wittman again, telling him he's headed out. That's when he says he hears something that sounds like gunfire. "And I walk out the door and they push us back into the airport saying, ‘Get back in. Get back in. Shots fired.'" Riches says the next morning, he spoke to Wittman who described what happened. "He pulled up and looked up from getting my text and there was an officer standing right in front of him and when he saw the officer, he swerved and the officer jumped back," Riches recounts. "He swerved again and the officer pulled his gun and fired behind his car." Riches claims that the officer fired five shots from behind Wittman's Dodge Charger ...


    Probably just suffering a serious case of car envy. Those new Chargers are pretty nice -- got one as my "Executive Selection" upgrade from National at SEA a couple years ago. :)
     
  3. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    These airline passengers' experiences are entirely typical, except for the gunfire of course. Everyone who arrives after a flight must coordinate baggage claims and ground transportation. Picking up passengers who've just arrived and are negotiating baggage claim requires perfect timing that just isn't typical in an imperfect world. I don't know how many times I've hovered around the airport, circling, circling, while friends and family struggle with baggage claims and make their way out to the curb. Given that the two passengers were engaged in entirely typical behavior, it seems really odd that the shots were fired. I'm sure surveillance cameras captured the incident. I hope nothing like this happens again.
     
    phoebepontiac likes this.
  4. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    It took a year and then resulted in these watered down charges? It should have been attempted murder.
     
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  5. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I'm guessing that the "officer" stood in front of the vehicle while the preoccupied man was texting, and was nearly run down. Instead of simply getting out of the way, he played Dirty Harry. I think it shows the "officer's" general state of mind, that he was more confrontational and agressive than the situation warranted.

    That being said, maybe texting and negotiating the chaos surrounding picking a passenger up outside baggage claim was a bit too much multi-tasking.
     
  6. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    That's what I'm picturing too. I get the adrenaline, but FIVE SHOTS??! Dirty Harry is right.
    And these are the trained officers....geez
     
  7. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    This is why some airports now have a "cell-phone parking" area. I simply drive to the airport, park in that lot, and wait for a text or phone call that they've gotten their bags and are headed for the curb. Easy-peasy.

    The lots at PHX even have lighted arrival boards indicating delays, etc.
     
  8. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    You know, my airport has one of those. I didn't get the point. I thought it was weird. Now I understand. Our cell phone parking lot is always empty. I don't think many people know that's what it's for. Thanks for spelling it out for me. The next time I am picking someone up I'm going to use that strategy. It does sound much easier.
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    And safer than looping around several times. At a lot of airports the traffic is really congested at peak hours.
     
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  10. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I've rarely encountered a truly busy time at PHF, but I've been on high alert anyway. There is always the possibility of running a pedestrian down or attracting the ire of security, particularly when fumbling with the cell phone and circling, circling, circling, craning my head for a glimpse of my expected passenger. Far better just to park and wait for the call.
     

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