The recent life of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith, which has been marked far more by off-field trouble than by on-field production, has taken another disturbing turn. According to multiple reports, Smith was detained by security at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday afternoon after he indicated that he was in possession of a bomb. Nobody at the airport publicly identified the man as Smith, but ESPN's Adam Schefter forwarded a statement from 49ers general manager Trent Baalke: "We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith. As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."
Los Angeles police public information officer Karla Ortiz said in a statement that the man identified as Smith went through security screening at Terminal 1, and was selected randomly for secondary screening. Smith reportedly became belligerent and uncooperative with the TSA agent in charge of the screening, and made a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb.
At that point, L.A. police spoke with Smith, and detained him as he continued to be uncooperative. Reports indicate that Smith has been booked for a violation of section 148.1 of the California Penal Code.
"Any person who reports to any peace officer listed in Section 830.1 or 830.2, or subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, ...employees of an airline, employees of an airport... that a bomb or other explosive has been or will be placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year..."
A similar penalty is in place for any person who "reports to any other peace officer... that a bomb or other explosive has been or will be placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if (1) the false information is given while the peace officer is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer and (2) the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is a peace officer."
According to CSN Bay Area, Smith was released from jail at 7:02 p.m. PST after posting $20,000 bond. He had been booked into jail about three hours earlier.
Smith has been arrested twice for DUI in the last 27 months, and he currently faces three felony weapons charges related to a party at his home in 2012, where Smith was stabbed and two other people were shot. Last September, after his second DUI, Smith spent five weeks in a treatment facility. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided against exacting any suspension based on Smith's rehab stay.
After his second DUI arrest, in September, Smith spent five weeks at a treatment facility to address his substance-abuse issues.
“The issue here is not to discipline players,” Goodell said at the time. “The issue is to stop the behavior. And Aldon … has voluntarily said ‘I need help.’” Selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, Smith has a fifth-year option on his rookie contract that the 49ers must decide to exercise or not by May 3. That option would pay him $9.75 million in 2015, while he's due a base salary of $2,336,454 in 2014.