On Monday Alameda County prosecutors declined to file charges against a man arrested last week for wearing an unusual watch to Oakland Airport that police said resembled a detonator for a bomb.
Geoffrey McGann describes his artistic watches as “conversation pieces”. Well one of his unusual watches caused quite a conversation with Oakland Airport security, one that led to his arrest and imprisonment for three days.
McGann was released Saturday after posting $150,000 bail. His attorney Douglas Horngrad said McGann’s watches “are a popular design among people who have seen them,” and “Mr. McGann’s use of the materials in his watch is completely innocent and artistic.”
Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a sheriff’s department spokesman said “If you come into an airport trying to get this device through X-ray screening, art or no art, you should be stopped, questioned and possibly arrested 100 times out of 100.
The unusual watch has a circuit board and a direct timer and TSA agents became suspicious after seeing it appear hidden under McGanns jacket in the x-ray machine.
Further suspicions were aroused by McGanns choice of clothes which included a shirt with built-in tourniquet in the sleeves – the kind a soldier might wear to save his own life in battle. As well as shoes that were two sizes too big with an an empty, homemade cavity in the soles.
To my untrained eye the watch looks quite “bomb-like” or similar to a cartoony “time-bomb”. Perhaps thats the artists intention.
McGann said “It’s made to look like a device,” , “You could say it’s a bomb. I’ve never thought about it in those terms.”