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Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Man arrested after kiss sparked Newark airport scare

Haisong Jiang
Haisong Jiang was released in the early hours of Saturday

A man held for breaching security at Newark airport near New York, sparking the closure of a busy terminal, was kissing his girlfriend goodbye.

Haisong Jiang, 28, a Chinese-born student, was arrested late on Friday night and will be charged with defiant trespass, the Port Authority said.

He is due in court next week and could face a fine of up to $500 (£312).

Flights were grounded and passengers evacuated from the secure side of the terminal after the incident.

A surveillance video shows a man in a light-coloured jacket slipping underneath a security cordon at the airport, shortly after being told by an official to move away.

'Not some prank'

After the security official steps away, a man believed to be Mr Jiang is seen ducking underneath the security cordon and kissing a woman in a long white coat, before walking away with her, arm-in-arm toward the boarding area.

According to Mr Jiang's flatmate, his girlfriend is a recent graduate from Rutgers university who lives in Los Angeles. She was visiting New York for the holidays, AP reported.

The incident took place just hours after tougher screening rules for air passengers were unveiled following the alleged Christmas Day bomb plot against a US plane.

Authorities had to scour the city to track down Mr Jiang, who is studying for a doctoral degree in molecular biosciences at Rutgers university, after he left the airport.

New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg expressed anger that he could only face a fine.

"It wasn't some prank that didn't do any harm - it did a lot of harm because it sent out an alert that people can get away with something like this," he said.

He said he had committed a "terrible injustice" to the thousands who had faced disrupted travel after flights were cancelled.



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