bullets over chattanooga

May 21, 2002

It seems that there are truly two sides to a story. The suspect in the bomb threat at the Airshow was really a recruiter for the USAF Academy. He didn’t have a fake ID, it was his real USAF ID. He wasn’t in an uniform, as was told to the media, but his civilian USAF Academy jacket that had patches on it. The briefcase that the bomb squad blew-up, actually had applications for the Academy, that he was going to give to one of the Thunderbirds. They did find gunpowder residue on the case they detomated, but according to Mr. Sommer that was from the metal bullets he uses in the construction of a church building. The charges haven’t been dropped, and he really could be going to jail because one of Chattanooga’s finest overreacted. Not to say that Mr Sommers isn’t completely admonished, but the story seems a little different than what we were told on Saturday.

Here is the story from the paper. I also saw about 4 different interviews with Mr. Sommer, and he might be a bit naive, a bit of a jerk but seems good-willed. From the paper interview, “He is definitely a (admissions) liaison for the Air Force Academy,” academy spokesman Neil Talbot said. “As far as I know, he was there in official capacity.” and Lt. Col. Sam Elkins, director for Air Force Academy liaison officers in East Tennessee, said Mr. Sommer was at the airport on official business and “we hope that things work out.” Hamilton County Sheriff John Cupp said Monday the charges “will not be changed.” I do hope that everything come out ok in the end.