SEATTLE – A 10-year-old boy who last year talked his way onto airline flights to Texas tried another getaway Tuesday but was stopped at a boarding gate, authorities said.
Security tapes show Semaj Booker passing through a metal detector and other procedures before 5 a.m. at a checkpoint operated by the Transportation Security Administration at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. His mother had reported him missing to Tacoma police at 3 a.m.
TSA is investigating why he was not required to show a boarding pass at the checkpoint, said Dwayne Baird, Northwest region spokesman for TSA in Salt Lake City.
Semaj was detained at 6:35 a.m. while trying to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Sacramento, Calif., said airport spokesman Perry Cooper. The boy pointed to a man in front of him and said, "I'm with him," but that was quickly found to be false, Cooper said.
Authorities confirmed the boy was reported missing and returned him to his mother, Cooper said.
He indicated to officers he was trying to get to Dallas, Cooper said.
In January 2007, Semaj had lied his way onto a Southwest Airlines flight by saying his mother was already in the boarding area. He changed planes in Phoenix and flew to San Antonio before being discovered.
At that time, his mother told authorities her son was unhappy living in the Tacoma suburb of Lakewood and wanted to be with his grandfather in Dallas.
Days before boarding that flight, Semaj had stolen and crashed a car. A judge convicted him of car theft in July but said he wouldn't have to go to juvenile detention if he stayed out of trouble for a year.
Cooper said Tuesday's incident would be referred to King County prosecutors to determine whether any new charges were warranted.
A phone number for the Bookers' home could not be located Tuesday.