Rick Case's Pen: Grand Theft Charge Adds to Anti-TSA Ire

Categories: News
toussain-puddie-feature.jpg
CandaceWest.com
Toussain Puddie
Our cover story this week deals with a subject on which pretty much everyone has a strong opinion: the Transportation Security Administration, tasked with frisking, scanning, and searching you before you get on a plane.

It was about this time last year when the "Don't touch my junk" guy, John Tyner, got his 15 minutes of fame at San Diego International Airport. And radio host Meg McLain said she was treated abusively when she opted out of the new backscatter "porno scanners." Then, in July 2011, Fort Lauderdale TSA Officer Nelson Santiago stuffed a passenger's iPad into his pants, getting national attention.

So when the story broke that Toussain Puddie, another Fort Lauderdale screener, had casually grabbed a stray pen that was sitting by the sign-out sheet, public opinion was already stacked against him.


Our first blog on the story garnered over 100 comments in a couple of days. Peopler were split between supporters of Puddie and those who seemed ready to burn a TSA agent at the stake, regardless of what he had done.

Commenter "blu15_03" wrote:

When I started reading this article I thought it was a joke. You're telling me that this punishment fits the "alleged crime"? An employee picks up what seems to be a stray pen, not left in "lost and found" but on a cabinet and he not only loses his job but also serves time in jail and faces those type of charges. This is extremely unfair and a waste of time.

Compare that with commenter "jojowan:"

Good.  All TSA agents need to be prosecuted for any and all crimes to the fullest extent of the law.  They should be ashamed of what they do.  They are poor excuses for human beings.

Later, after Puddie sought counsel, his lawyer revealed that the state had no intention of dropping the charges. By then, Puddie had lost his job, and his life was forever changed because of Rick Case's $450 pen.

We'd encourage you to form your own opinion by reading the article -- including Puddie's admission that once he realized he had the pen that people were looking for, he didn't return it immediately because he was scared of the consequences. There's a big moral gray area here, which doesn't fit neatly into the highly contentious issue of who's groping you before you fly.


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Grant Moon
Grant Moon

This article does a really good job portraying a rich white man trying to throw his weight around on a working class fella who "just did what anyone else would have done," but I have a few questions...So at what point did this pen go from being in the lost and found bin, to being right next to the sign out clip board? If the pen was still in the "sharp object/lost and found bin" why did he take it out to use it (highly unprofessional.) Also, why aren't TSA issued pens, or at least expected to have their own writing insturments. I do know that personnel in law enforcement, or in the case of TSA, quasi law enforcement, are normally required to have a writing instrument, which uses black ink (this pen was blue, again leading me to believe the defendant knew what he was doing.) I can understand (only a little) if he was in a hurry, misplaced his own pen, and scanned the office area, and happened to see one in the lost and found, used it to sign out, but then you GOT TO put it back. That wouldn't be right, but using it, and realizing it's of good quality, obviously not a TSA pen (cheap bic which uses black ink) then putting it in your pocket and deciding to take it home is stealing. TSA needs to have lost and found and sharp object box under lock and key, in an area which is "out of the way" and less likely to be rummaged trough accidentally (like right next to the sign out clip board, or coat hanger et al.)TSA personnel have to be required to have a writing pen as part of their uniform if they don't already. As part of TSA training, "speaking up" should be the rule if you hear about something which you know about, but aren't being directly questioned about. If you hear that colleagues are being questioned for something you know about, keeping quiet is criminal. He made the situation much worse when he tried to keep a low profile. As for the defendant, he's probably gotten dealt with appropriately; I think it's obvious that he knew what he was doing, so losing his job was a given. I'm sure Rick Case, after being told the full story, made the right call to press charges; probably at the request of the sheriff's office. 

Johnny_Henley
Johnny_Henley

Stealing is stealing. It could have been any ol' pen but he happen to try and push his luck and got caught stealing a 450 dollar pen. He shouldn't be punished anymore than anyone else, but he most definitively should get NO slack. TSA are the right hand of the corrupt globalist.

wouldn't you like to know?
wouldn't you like to know?

How about we just fire the whole this @#$!ing bunch of parasites?

The 4th amendment clearly states that probable cause is necessary for someone to be searched.  George W. Bush should be in prison for creating this abomination, as should Janet Napolitano and John Pistole.

Cut billions from the federal deficit and abolish the TSA and the entire Department of Homeland Security.

How about private security on planes?  and how about not throwing people in jail for exercising their 2nd amendment RIGHTS?

I refuse to fly because of the TSA.

mark edward marchiafava
mark edward marchiafava

Obviously, you and I must be the only 2 Amerikans who refuse to fly, or else the commercial carriers would be screaming for the abolition of the TSA themselves.Sheeple, that's what this once-great Republic has become.

Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson

Well, they've already pared down airlines' clientele to basically just those who NEED to fly, so those people will use the service no matter how burdensome it becomes, as long as its still faster than other modes of transport.

mark edward marchiafava
mark edward marchiafava

these people grope you, order you around, trample your constitutionally-protected rights and you're worried about an ink pen?  Your priorities are skewed.

not1984but1776
not1984but1776

Every little bit of frustration helps!Constitutional rights are intangible ... $450 pens are not.If this is what it takes to get rid of the whole agency, fine by me.

Solagilb
Solagilb

Ha! Like that'll happen. They are already X-raying our bodies to see under our clothes. They just will putting stricter rules on selecting TSA Agents

ftl
ftl

how about if this was a watch?  lets say a rolex.

would that make any difference? 

Sam
Sam

If he had returned the pen when he knew people were looking for it, I'd buy the innocent mistake of picking up a stray (very expensive) pen.  Although in my opinion TSA agents should no better than to pick up anything that does not belong to them and should be held to the highest standards since they are regularly in control of the traveling public's valuables, have power to search, etc.  The problem is that he knew this pen was missing, he knew people were looking for it and he denied having it.  So he lied about misappropriating lost property.  He is not trust worthy and had to be fired.  If Case wants to press charges, that is his call and no one else's to make. 

Obermann
Obermann

Boycott Rick Case and his dealerships for more than one reason in this case. 

wmrandall
wmrandall

You really are an envious, jealous, pathetic excuse for a human being , aren't you.  The man was the victim, not the perp.  Good riddance to the perp!

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Really? A victim? It's a pen. A freaking overpriced pen that writes in magic ink. Maybe this should be more of "finders keepers, losers wheepers".  The Tea Party types are salivating on this one. Punish the unionized/government working/lazy deadbeat plague on society? Right? How dare a lowly line worker "steal" a privileged class elitist of his god given right to exert his bought for influence for a pen he lost. Get an effin Bic next time Ricky. What would it hurt to be a bit benevolent, accept Purdie's apology and get along with the important things in life. This event is a Seinfeld episode on Roids. Must have been an astronaut pen.

Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson

So, would the kind of person who would steal a pen, NOT steal something more tempting?  I know, I know, federal service taught me to steal pens too.  But only from the stockroom, not from people already using them.  It was always the careless airman who didn't think ahead for himself, that had to borrow/steal a pen to finish his job.  If he will steal a pen, he will steal other things too.  If he doesn't think far enough ahead to have a pen for his job's paperwork, then he's incompetent, as well.

not1984but1776
not1984but1776

Privileged class elitists one day, you the next. That's the way totalitarianism works. Create class envy, divide one group against another and pick them off one at a time while the other group roars in approval.

Then, it's just you against the government ... and then what?

ftl
ftl

TSA defender!  wow, a new all time low.

Case sells cars.  lots of people sell cars.  he must be good at it, since he's been in business for years and years, employing thousands of people.

in fact he does such a good job, he can afford a 400 dollar pen. 

Then he goes to the airport, and its taken by a TSA agent, and somehow Ricky gets a bad rap.

-Would you be happy, if he closed his dealership, put everyone out of work, and invested in India bonds?

FQS9000
FQS9000

One less thieving bureaucrat.  The government will be a better place.

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