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Posted: 7/2/2002 1:19:10 AM EDT
[url]http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134486084_boomerang02m.html[/url] [b]Brier [Washington] woman arrested carrying boomerangs[/b] By Matt Sedensky The Associated Press WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — A world-class competitive boomerang thrower from Washington state faces a criminal charge after trying to bring boomerangs through a security checkpoint at Bradley International Airport. Betsylew Ross Miale-Gix, 43, of Brier, was arrested Sunday after arguing with a security screener at the airport, Connecticut state police said. Miale-Gix said she was returning home from a boomerang tournament in Amherst, Mass., when she was stopped at the airport's security checkpoint. The screener had noticed about 50 boomerangs inside Miale-Gix's carry-on luggage at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday and told her the items would have to be checked, state police said. Miale-Gix became irate, began cursing and then grabbed her bags from the screener, state police said. She continued to use obscenities as she left the screening area, state police said. She was arrested on a breach-of-peace charge and was released after posting a $500 bond. Miale-Gix acknowledged becoming irate, but she challenged the police description of her actions, indicating she was concerned about the boomerangs. "I tried to help him understand that they were delicate and they were breakable," she told The Associated Press yesterday. An attorney, Miale-Gix is a three-time member of the United States Boomerang Team, and she has been ranked among the top 10 boomerang throwers in the world. She now serves as secretary of the U.S. Boomerang Association, and she formerly held the world record for Australian round, a top boomerang event. The Transportation Security Administration prohibits sporting equipment such as pool cues, hockey sticks and ski poles in carry-on luggage but does not mention boomerangs. Any item deemed to present a threat may be prohibited from an aircraft cabin, according to the administration. "There are new levels of acceptance after 9-11," said trooper Roger Beaupre. "Those policies are in place for those on board." Chet Snouffer, president of the U.S. Boomerang Association, said boomerangs typically weigh 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 ounces and pose no threat. "It's too small and lightweight to do any damage," Snouffer said. "It's like throwing a couple of first-class letters at somebody." "A girl walked by us on the plane with two tennis rackets," Miale-Gix said. "A tennis racket is much more dangerous on that plane than any of our boomerangs can ever be." Snouffer said he and his teammates travel frequently to competitions all over the world and always carry their boomerangs on board. He said no one ever has been asked to remove the boomerangs from their carry-on luggage. Australian aborigines used nonreturning throwing sticks as hunting weapons, but actual boomerangs never have been used as weapons, Snouffer said. "Perhaps several hundred years ago, that was a partially accurate perception," Miale-Gix said. "Boomerangs are not weapons; they are sporting objects." Miale-Gix is due in Enfield Superior Court on July 16, less than two weeks before she is to compete in the world championships in Kiel, Germany.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 1:24:30 AM EDT
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