January 18, 2010 in Nation/World

Attorney says wrong door led to JFK breach

Karen Matthews Associated Press
 

NEW YORK – A man returning from Haiti who walked through a restricted door and set off an alarm that led to the evacuation of a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport simply went the wrong way, his attorney said Sunday.

“He just walked through the wrong door,” said defense attorney Scott Dufault, who declined to comment further when reached by phone at his office following his client’s arraignment.

The security breach on Saturday afternoon delayed dozens of flights and caused headaches for hundreds of travelers who had to exit the terminal and wait for hours while police swept through the building. Passengers were then re-screened by Transportation Security Administration officers.

The man, Jules Paul Bouloute, told police he went through the door by mistake, an official familiar with the investigation into the security breach told the Associated Press on Sunday. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the case against the Brooklyn man and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bouloute, 57, was arraigned Sunday on charges including first-degree criminal tampering and third-degree criminal trespass, said Helen Peterson, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney. He didn’t enter a plea and was released without bail. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.

Prosecutors allege that he went through a door that was clearly marked as restricted.

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