Haisong Jiang TSA Breach
February 9, 2012 by staff
Haisong Jiang TSA Breach, A lovesick graduate student from China who slipped under a rope barrier at Newark Liberty International Airport to say goodbye to his girlfriend, prompting a security breach and leading to worldwide flight delays, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge Tuesday and apologized publicly for the first time.
“I want to deeply apologize to those (affected) for my breach,” Haisong Jiang said outside of court. “I just wanted to spend more time with my girlfriend. I made a big mistake, and I also learned a big lesson.”
Jiang, a 28-year-old doctoral student in a joint molecular biosciences program at Rutgers University, admitted to a municipal judge that he passed under a rope and entered a restricted area at the airport Jan. 3 to spend about 20 extra minutes with his girlfriend, who was leaving for California after visiting him in New Jersey.
As part of a plea agreement for the defiant trespassing charge, Jiang agreed to pay a $500 fine, plus additional court costs, and perform 100 hours of community service.
Outside of court, Jiang spoke quietly in halting English, addressing his apology to airport personnel, Transportation Security Administration officials and passengers affected by the delays. He also thanked Chinese consular officials, his lawyers and his friends for their support during the past few months.
His attorney, Eric Bruce, said the misdemeanor charge would not affect Jiang’s immigration status, and he would remain at Rutgers on a student visa. Bruce said Jiang was due to graduate in the spring and was part of a research team searching for a cure for glaucoma.
Jiang was arrested Jan. 8, days after authorities identified him from airport surveillance video that showed a man stepping under a security rope and entering a restricted area of the airport after a guard stepped away from his post.
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