Boston man in body armor arrested at LA airport

Grenade, hatchet found in luggage

A Boston man is facing charges after authorities at Los Angeles International Airport discovered a host of hazardous and suspicious items inside his luggage, including a smoke grenade, a hatchet, knives, a gas mask, biohazard suits, and body bags, officials said.

Customs officers detained Yongda Huang Harris, 28, on Friday afternoon after he arrived at the airport on a flight from Japan, and they noticed that he was wearing a bulletproof vest and flame retardant pants underneath his trenchcoat, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

Federal agents later discovered the items inside his luggage. The items also allgedly included three leather-coated billy clubs; a collapsible baton; handcuffs; leg irons and a device to repel dogs, the statement said.


The Los Angeles police conducted an X-ray examination of the smoke grenade, the statement said, which showed that it fell under the United Nations explosives shipping classification, meaning airline passengers are barred from bringing it on planes.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“Depending on the conditions when it is ignited, the smoke grenade, made by Commando Manufacturers, could potentially fill the cabin of a commercial airplane with smoke or cause a fire,” the statement said.

Officials said Harris had been living and working in Japan recently but makes his permanent home in Boston, where he was headed at the time of his arrest.

He has been charged federally with one count of transporting hazardous materials, and was scheduled to make an initial appearance today in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.