Delta pilot out on bond after weapon charge

By Maria-Jose Subiria


A Delta Air Lines pilot, who was recently arrested for reportedly carrying a loaded weapon at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, has been released on bond, according to law enforcement officials.

Matthew Lamar McDaniel, has been released on $5,700 bond, according to the Harold R. Banke Justice Center's web site, www.co.clayton.ga.us.

McDaniel was arrested Saturday by the Atlanta Police Department, while attempting to pass through security at the North Checkpoint area. While using an Advanced Technology X-ray system, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer detected a Taurus .38 special, with five rounds, inside the carry-on bag belonging to McDaniel, said Atlanta police officials.

McDaniel was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, and he was transported to the Clayton County Jail, said officer R. L. Jones, of the Atlanta Police Department.

McDaniel told an officer at the scene that he had cleaned his girlfriend's vehicle, and forgot he placed the handgun inside the bag, according to a police report of the incident. McDaniel, 32, has a permit that allows him to carry concealed weapons, but the handgun was not "artfully concealed," police said in the report of the incident. Passengers are prohibited from carrying firearms, parts of firearms, and ammunition inside their carry-on luggage, whether they obtain a permit, or not, according to Jon Allen, Southeast public affairs manager for the TSA. Individuals may only transport firearms, parts of firearms, and ammunition, inside their checked baggage, according to TSA's web site, www.tsa.gov. Firearms must be unloaded," Allen said, "and all firearms must be declared to an airline company during the check-in process." He said they must also be in a hard-sided container.

"We are investigating [the] matter," said Susan Elliott, spokesperson for Delta Airlines, in an e-mailed statement. "As a pilot, he [McDaniel] would be familiar with the policies [surrounding] firearms and carry-on baggage."

Currently, McDaniel's employment status with the company has not changed, added Elliott.

Elliott said McDaniel was off-duty at the time of his arrest. He has been working for the company for three years. Attempts to reach McDaniel for comment were unsuccessful.