Bible-quoting broadcaster of anti-gay message on PA at Ft. Lauderdale airport nabbed
This just in from Anthony Niedwiecki, the Florida professor who emailed me last night about another update on the incident that he and his partner experienced at the Fort Lauderdale Airport last Tuesday.
The police have located the person who put the anti-gay message on the PA system. He admitted to the police to doing it, and the police just called me to let me know. I have no other facts yet, and I will let you know the details tomorrow when we find out.
UPDATE: From the Miami Herald:
An aviation employee has told his bosses he was responsible for the anti-gay message blared over the public address system at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport a week ago.
The man is Jethro Monestime, 23, who works for Superior Aircraft Services. He said it was meant as a prank, airport officials announced at a news conference Monday morning. It was not immediately known if he would be disciplined and if so, in what way.
Broward County officials had vowed to discharge the person responsible if he or she worked for the airport. Monestine does not.
The Sun Sentinel:
The officials said investigators talked with Monestime Sunday night and said he admitted playing the verse over the P.A. system twice. Monestime said it was a prank and that he had downloaded the verse onto his cell phone, then played it over the intercom. He said he was not aware a gay couple was in the airport terminal and said that was just a concidence and had no ill intent… [C]ounty officials said they would urge Superior Aircraft to terminate Monestime’s employment.
CBS4 has video.
UPDATE 2: Email from Anthony Niedwiecki — “I just received a phone call from the president and CEO of the company, Superior Aircraft Services. He called to apologize and to let me know that they have terminated the employee.”
The person in question used the airport PA without permission, quoting Leviticus 20:13. From Anthony’s original description to me, from the post “Homobigotry in terminal 3“:
At approximately 12:45 am, my partner and I were in the baggage claim area in terminal 3. We had just arrived from Chicago and were waiting for our bags when an announcement came over the intercom. It basically said that “a man who lies with another man as he would a woman is subject to death.” We couldn’t believe what we heard, and then it came over the intercom again a few minutes later. We were shaken by the announcement because it specifically said “subject to death”.
The public address system, while accessible to the public, cannot be used without first entering a code to turn on the loud speakers, so authorities were confident that they could find the person who did it.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office has also reviewed the surveillance videotapes to identify the anti-gay bible-quoter. Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion Jr. condemned the broadcast message and said: “We welcome all people of all races — all ethnicities, all religions and sexual orientations,” he said. “We have a very large gay population, and we are sorry this occurred.”