FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Airport officials have fired a luggage attendant who admitted playing a Bible verse that offended a gay couple over an public speaker system.
Jethro Monestime, 23, who had worked for Superior Aircraft Services at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, acknowledged that he played the message twice early May 1, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Monestime said he used his cell phone to play a recording that said, "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they should be put to death." The announcement came from Leviticus 20:13.
He told investigators Sunday that it was a prank.
"I just want to apologize to everybody who was involved, especially the couple," Monestime told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday. "I didn't think it was going to hurt anybody."
Broward County sheriff's officials will turn the case over to state prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be filed, county Mayor Josephus Eggelletion Jr. said.
Danny Pyne, co-owner of Superior Aircraft, said Monestime was fired Monday, and the company had issued an apology to the couple.
Anthony Niedwiecki, who had been with his partner Waymon Hudson when he heard the message, said he didn't consider it a prank.
"It was a death threat," Niedwiecki said. "I appreciate the fact that police followed up on this."
Niedwiecki and Hudson filed the complaint to airport officials that started the investigation.