Visitor fined for threatening police
An American tourist found himself in Magistrates' Court this morning after threatening a police officer at the LF Wade International Airport.
Michael Huppé Jr, 40, pleaded guilty to charges of behaving in a threatening manner to customs officials and verbally threatening police in an incident yesterday.
The court heard that the Farmington, New Hampshire, resident was at the airport at around 1pm to catch a flight home when he was stopped for a search by customs officials.
However Huppé became visibly frustrated and began to use profane language towards the officers. At one stage, he reportedly clenched his fists and assumed a fighting stance before slamming his fist into a table.
Due to his behaviour, police were contacted and came to the airport.
When Huppé was later told that he was not going to be able to catch his flight, he pointed his middle finger at the customs officers, saying: “F*** you all.”
He then turned to a police officer, saying: “Don't look at me like that. When we are outside it will be a whole different story. You will see what happens then. You are going to end up in hospital. I will f*** you up.”
Told that he was going to be arrested for his behaviour, Huppé told the officers: “What the f*** ever. I'm going to jail for this bulls***?”
While prosecutor Alan Richards suggested either a short, sharp shock or a fine would be appropriate given the facts of the case, duty counsel Ken Savoury said his night at the police station was a sufficient shock and that any further penalty should be in the form of a fine.
Mr Savoury added that Huppé was very remorseful for his actions, which were born out of his frustration about being repeatedly searched and missing his flight.
Huppé himself told the court: “My behaviour the other day was uncalled for. I was upset. It was the third time I was searched and they had me for longer than I expected. I was missing my flight and had no money to get another flight.”
He added that he had apologised to the officer, saying that he realised he had done the wrong thing.
Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe chided Huppé for his behaviour, saying that he himself is often searched at the airport.
“What would have happened if you went into any airport in the US and did the exact same thing?” he asked. “In some areas of the US, when officers are threatened they take action.”
Mr Wolffe fined Huppé a total of $1,000 for the two offences, ordering that the sum be paid before he is released from custody.
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