July 27, 2009

Civilian arrested as Army deserter

A Seattle man said he was arrested at a Charlotte, N.C., airport and detained as an Army deserter, even though he has never been in the military.

Chris Parks, 27, said he was returning from Central America with some friends when his name caught the attention of Homeland Security workers at the airport, KOMO-TV, Seattle, reported Monday.

Parks said he was told he'd been flagged as a deserter.

I've been in the Army for 10 years, and didn't even know it, he said. Just seems kind of odd.

Parks, who was detained for a week in Charlotte and another week at Fort Knox, Ky., said he nearly joined the Army 10 years ago before filing to de-enlist, but Army records indicate he went through basic training and later went AWOL.

How paperwork could have gotten messed up enough to say that I was actually in the military and made it there -- and it actually says that I was in there for two years before they finally figured out that I wasn't--- and started counting me as a deserter, Parks said.

Parks said he carries paperwork with him now proving he never deserted.