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Judge denies bail in LA airport weapons case

Associated Press Published: October 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities said Friday that a man who wore a bulletproof vest on a plane and had knives and other weapons in his checked bags also had manuals stored on his computer detailing how to kill people and schedules showing when kids would arrive and leave from Japanese schools.

The disclosures came during a court appearance by suspect Yongda Huang Harris during which U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Abrams declared him to be a flight risk and ordered him held without bond until he stands trial.

Federal prosecutors also argued that Harris, 28, is a danger to the community by noting that his computer contained publications outlining how to commit certain types of murders and kidnappings. One document entitled "Man Trapping" showed how to hunt and trap human beings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Mills said an examination of Harris' computer revealed he had a "strong interest" in sexual violence against girls. There was also a document with schedules for schools.

In his ruling, Abrams said the evidence showed Harris was not making good choices.

Harris was arrested a week ago during a stopover in Los Angeles on his trip from Japan to Boston. He was wearing a bulletproof vest under a trench coat and also wore flame-retardant pants and knee pads.

A search of his checked luggage uncovered numerous suspicious items, including a smoke grenade, knives, body bags, a hatchet, collapsible baton, biohazard suit, billy clubs, handcuffs, leg irons and a device to repel dogs, authorities said.

Harris is currently charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials — in relation to the smoke grenade — which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Defense attorney Steven Seiden, who asked that his client be released on bail, said the clothing worn by Harris is commonplace in Asian counties and described the outfit as resembling martial arts clothing. He said the body bags were actually a large duffel bag for moving items.

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