PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A high-tech worker who stripped naked at Portland International Airport as a protest against airport security screeners said Wednesday he was being "nude but not lewd," and characterized his act of defiance as protected political speech.
John E. Brennan, 49, of Portland was charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after taking off far more than this belt and shoes during the screening process before a Tuesday evening flight to San Jose, Calif. The incident report from the Port of Portland, which operates the airport, said some passengers covered their eyes and the eyes of their children. Others laughed and took photos. The disorderly conduct charge was dropped at Brennan's arraignment Wednesday.
Brennan said in an interview that he did not arrive at the airport with the intention of getting naked. He said the Transportation Security Administration crosses the line between privacy and security. He decided to protest after he was pulled aside after going through the metal detector and a pat-down, he said.
Port police officers arrested Brennan after he ignored requests to get dressed.
"The most effective way to tell them I'm not carrying a bomb is take off my clothes," Brennan said.
Authorities led Brennan from the screening area with a towel around his waist. Brennan was transferred to a downtown Portland jail and released late Tuesday.
Brennan has criticized TSA previously, saying on Twitter last May that airport security violated his privacy during a pat-down in San Jose. The tweet came after intense criticism in 2010 over the government's use of full-body scanning machines and invasive pat-downs in airport security.
Annie Linstrom, a spokeswoman for the Port of Portland, said two screening lanes closed temporarily during the incident, but there were no flight delays.
This was not the first time Brennan has undressed for political reasons. In Portland, the World Naked Bike Ride attracts thousands each year to protest oil dependence. Brennan said he has ridden in the event three times.
Brennan booked a flight to San Jose for Wednesday night, and had no plans to protest.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
More Weird News
A man lived with the decomposing corpse of a 72-year-old woman for about six months before court officers serving an eviction notice discovered her body moldering on a sofa in a Detroit-area trailer home, police said Friday.
A man dressed as the Cookie Monster has been accused of shoving a 2-year-old in New York's Times Square and has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
A former New Mexico shoe salesman accused of biting off part of his girlfriend's toe has been arrested again, this time for allegedly stalking the woman and trying to cut off her big toe with a cigar cutter.
If you punch a punk in Manchester, it could be a hate crime.
Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, has installed a urinal gaming system in its bathrooms.