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Man in tactical gear
arrested at KCI Airport

by Ivan Foley
Landmark publisher

A man dressed in all black tactical gear raised suspicions of a witness who reported the sighting to KCI Airport Police. The man was subsequently arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and receiving stolen property.

The incident occurred last Tuesday, April 4, around 6:30 a.m. when a witness contacted airport police to say a man dressed in tactical gear had come into Terminal C and then returned to a Chrysler Sebring parked curbside near Frontier Airlines.

A police officer approached the vehicle and conducted a car check on the occupants. The officer said he observed fear in the eyes of the female driver and she was asked to exit the vehicle. A black male passenger in the front seat was dressed in black tactical clothing, the officer says, and allegedly refused to comply with the officer’s commands. The suspect was later identified as James E. Swinton, 43, of Kansas City, Kan.

The officer says the man reached behind his back for an unknown object. The officer says he ordered the man to show his hands but the man refused. Fearing that the man may have been reaching for a handgun, a second officer who had responded to the scene removed the man from the passenger side of the car.

Authorities say the man continued to actively resist officers and was tased. He was frisked for weapons and police say they found a.40 caliber handgun tucked into Swinton’s clothing near the small of his back.

The handgun, police say, had 14 live rounds in the magazine, no round in the chamber. A computer check revealed the weapon was listed as stolen in 2014 out of Kansas City. The man was then placed in custody for possession of a stolen handgun.

Authorities say Swinton was wearing tactical clothing with knee protectors and a tactical equipment vest. The vest, police say, contained multiple extended handgun magazines that contained 91 live rounds of ammunition.

A computer check revealed Swinton to have seven warrants out of Kansas City, Kan. and that he is on probation in Wyandotte County for possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, Swinton told police he had arrived at KCI Airport regarding a child custody issue. He stated the police pulled him out of his wife’s car. He told police he was wearing the black tactical gear so people would respect him.

Swinton told authorities he brought the weapon because he “was in protective mode.” Court documents allege Swinton told police he knew the pistol was stolen and he knew it was a mistake to have it because he is on probation for possession of methamphetamine.

Swinton remains in custody in the Platte County Jail with bond set at $50,000 cash-only. His next court appearance is set for April 18.