COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A College Park airline mechanic is off the job and under investigation for threats he made about airline safety.
Neutne Williamson, who works as a mechanic at Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, was on a personal trip to Las Vegas when police say he told officers he could use his knowledge of aircrafts to take down certain people’s planes.
The criminal complaint filed by the Clark County Nevada D.A.'s office outlines harassment charges against Williamson.
Authorities say Williamson went off on Las Vegas police in a McCarran Airport security line, suggesting he could take their planes down.
The incident happened in mid-June. Police say a belligerent Williamson demanded respect as he tried to board a flight, warning officers he'd be the mechanic to work on their planes when they took vacation.
“People's lives are in my hands, do you get it?" he allegedly asked.
“It’s very serious. I mean this whole community, this flying business, is all about trust,” aviation attorney Alan Armstrong said.
The report says Williamson took photos of the officers' IDs and asked if they were familiar with "planes that fall out of the sky.”
"Whoever transports me or ***** me off again, I’m going to get their ***** name, look them up, find out when they fly and ground the ***** plane,” he’s accused of saying.
Williamson's Atlanta airport and Express-Jet credentials were stripped and sent to the Atlanta FBI office. He spent five days in a Las Vegas jail before a judge granted a court-ordered release while prosecutors finish filing their complaint.
“He is de-credentialed. He is out of the community right now and I’ll doubt he'll ever come back,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong says in the heavily-regulated airport environment, he doesn’t think Williamson’s alleged threats are cause for concern.
“If he wanted to pull something off like that, he could? He has the knowledge?” Channel 2’s Nicole Carr asked.
“That is true. Aircrafts do have vulnerable points. We're not going to get into those right now, but there are certain vulnerabilities to an aircraft that would be known to aircraft mechanics. Yes, that is true. (But) it's not a real threat. It's not a real threat. I wouldn't be concerned about it,” Armstrong said.