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Mark Bote's prosecution for bomb threat on plane could turn into schmucky business

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Big photos and more below.
Determining who is and isn't a schmuck, and finding where the schmuckiness hides, is a big part of what we do here at Schmuck of the Week HQ. And the answers aren't always definitive.

A case in point: the arrest and prosecution of Thornton's Mark Bote. At first blush, his actions -- muttering about a bomb in his backpack mid-flight -- seem like classic schmucky behavior. But the criminal complaint on view below suggests that this case might be considerably more complicated.

According to the complaint, the incident in question took place June 14 on a Frontier Airlines flight from Knoxville, Tennessee to Denver. The narrative quotes numerous passengers (all identified by initials) who sat within earshot of Bote, age 23 and captured in this image by Nick Danneberger, who shared his pics with CBS4:

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Photo courtesy of Nick Danneberger
The consensus among those who spoke to investigators is that Bote was excessively nervous, with one witness saying that he rocked back and forth in his seat before the plane took off and seemed just as agitated during the flight.

This anxiety was focused on his backpack. He wore the item on his back until being told by a flight attendant to stow it under his seat. But later in the flight, he's said to have clutched it to himself while muttering, "Help me. Help me. Help me."

"What's the matter?" a flight attendant asked him.

One witness recall his reply like so: "There's a bomb. There's a bomb."

The flight attendant didn't immediately panic. Instead, she asked him, "Do you know what you just told me."

"Yes," he said.

At that point, the backpack was taken from Bote and what are described as "bomb procedures" were implemented; they included moving passengers and bags. Bote tried to get up, but was told to remain seated, and did so; he appears not to have caused further disruptions. But the damage had been done, with other passengers taken off the plane in an emergency manner, as captured in another photo by Nick Danneberger:

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Photo courtesy of Nick Danneberger
Did Bote know what he was doing when he triggered this reaction? The next portion of the complaint against him raises real questions.

Continue for more about the Mark Bote arrest, including another photo, a video and two documents.



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17 comments
fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

I am automatically skeptical of charges filed as a result of a grand jury. Grand juries are seen by the public as open, fair and reasonable presentation of facts that people review and agree charges are warranted. However, prosecutors alone control what is or is not presented to a GJ. Defense attorneys are not allowed to object to what is presented. They are very one-sided and stacked in favor of the prosecutor.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Should the Mentally Ill be allowed to Fly on Commercial Airlines?

Or should they be arrested after they manifest their mental illness, and given years of Prison "Therapy" ?


Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

If his name had been Mahmoud Bosheki or some other foreign-sounding name, there'd be no discussion whatsoever of his mental state. This would be plastered and recycled all over the national news media, with bigoted politicians, pundits, along with racist, xenophobic yuppie scum from far and wide calling for investigation into his purported "terrorist ties" and/or "extremist" religious views and MORE racial/ethnic profiling on flights by law enforcement and flight crews. However, because this happens to be a "good little Christian" white male from suburbia, he gets a pass: no questioning of any possible links to white supremacists or militia gun-nut groups in the mid-South, no questioning of his "Biblically-based" philosophy, etc. etc. I love double standards. Don't you?

John Ashley
John Ashley

no, but he should be put in an institution, because that shit is CRAZYPANTS!!!

Syd Tastic
Syd Tastic

I hope his religion allows psychiatric drugs, he sounds like he's untreated for a mental disorder. Poor chap.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Taking cognizance of a person's mental state and looking inside the backpack to verify that it contained nothing which the TSA had missed when they oberved its contents would have been completely beyond the capacity of the morons operating and regulating air transportation, and the morons in the Department of Injustice.  Perhaps we should turn over both enterprises to non-morons.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Manny LaRue You have a point, but you take it too far.  What proportion of bombers of the past few decades have been professing Christians, white supremacists, or members of militias, as opposed to Islamists?  You may indeed love double standards.

matthewdenniston
matthewdenniston

@RobertChase If there were an actual bomb, opening the backpack could cause it to explode, following procedure, even if the threat issues from an unreliable source (which is probably only obvious in hindsight) seems like probably the best course of action.

Prosecuting him though... is an interesting dilemma, you don't want to signal to Operation Chaos that all they need do to disrupt travel with no consequences is to pretend to be suffering from some sort of temporary travel stress induced paranoia.

Best bet is prosecute and allow his lawyers make the case in court that he should be in an asylum rather than a prison.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... in the U$A? ... the VAST MAJORITY of Bombers are, were, and will continue to be WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICANS.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@matthewdenniston "If there were an actual bomb, opening the backpack could cause it to explode,"

You watch too much TV.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@matthewdenniston  I disagree.  The remote possibility that a bomb in carry-on luggage could escape detection motivates the procedure to which you refer, but a mechanism to trigger a bomb in a daypack likely would either be so sensitive that it would explode in the course of moving it about, or it could be discerned by close inspection.  The procedure apparently does not allow for taking any of the contextual clues that Bote was suffering from mental illness and had no malevolent intent into account, i.e. the fact that wanted to warn others about the possibility that a bomb had been secreted in his backpack unbeknownst to him.  Just leaving the backpack in place or removing it might be just as likely to trigger such a device as attempting to determine its contents.  As far as sending signals to Kaos, that has already been done -- the notion that Al Quaeda could fly operatives around disrupting air travel in the expectation that they would not be convicted is beyond far-fetched.

As for the prosecutors, they, police, legislators, and judges bear a heavy burden of responsibility for "the land of the free" having become the Land of Prisons, the least free society on Earth, in terms of the number of people living free of a cell.  Rather than submit anyone else to their mercies, I'd rather round up the lot and send them to Al Quaeda -- they are far more of a threat to our lives and liberties than Osama bin Laden and all his minions ever were.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... since when is it an "act of war" to blow up civilian airliners? 

That the U$A labels its Terrorist Crimes as something other than Terrorism doesn't change the incontrovertible reality that White Christians are responsible for MORE bombings, terror and killing within the U$A, and killed more Iraqis and Afghans than Saddam and Al Qaeda combined.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Now you wing even further away from what Manny LaRue was talking about by trying to drag acts of war by the United States government into the discussion.  You have a lot of trouble with focus, don't you?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... you really are a depraved delusional dipshit in denial.

Typical self-centered white Americunt who discounts and ignores ALL the BOMBINGS and killings done by the U$ Government and its Agents, Pawns and Dupes.

The U$A -- as White Christian America -- is directly responsible for the bombing and deaths related to at least 2 (two) CIVILIAN Airliners, and numerous Hotels occupied by Civilians.



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay In absolute terms, and including bombings of all sorts, undoubtedly, but not per capita among different religious affinities. Timothy McVeigh, to take an infamous example (of a bomber intent on mass-killing) was not in the groups mentioned by Manny LaRue:  "white supremacists or militia gun-nut", nor was he motivated to bomb the Murrah Federal Building by Christianity.  Of course, you twist what he wrote to suit your rhetorical agenda; I quote.  You also limit the universe of discussion to bombings in the United States.

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