Report: Bill Russell arrested with gun at Seattle airport

Incredibly bizarre story breaking late Friday night involving Celtics legend Bill Russell being arrested for a firearms charge at a Seattle airport.

Former NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested this week for allegedly bringing a loaded gun to Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, police said.

Russell, 79, was arrested Wednesday and issued a state citation for having a weapon in a prohibited area of the airport, said Perry Cooper, a Port of Seattle Police Department spokesman.

Russell was issued a citation and released. He had a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in a forbidden area of the airport, said Lisette Garcia, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman.

The gun was found during a screening of carry-on bags at a checkpoint, the TSA said.

"Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process," a TSA statement said.

Along with the state citation, Russell could be fined up to $7,500, the TSA said.

Have to believe this is some kid of unfortunate misunderstanding of the rules by the nearly 80-year-old Russell. After all, he's been nothing but a model citizen his entire life, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation's highest civilian honor) in 2011.

It's certainly unfortunate timing as well as Russell is about to have a statue of himself unveiled in Boston during a November 1st ceremony.

Seeing as Russell was cited and then released, it's clear that he was not considered a threat by security. But still, just seeing the headline "Bill Russell arrested on gun charge" has got to be the weirdest thing I've read in a long time.

It will be interesting to hear the whole story.

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