Former Celtics center and NBA hall-of-famer Bill Russell is use to stopping people on the court, now he might find himself in court. The 11-time NBA champion was arrested after a routine Transportation Security Administration security check found Russell in possesion of a loaded .38 caliber hand gun Wednesday evening. Russell, according to reports was traveling from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Boston.
TSA spokeswomen Lori Dankers informed media that Russell was turned over to Port of Seattle police and cited for carry a firearm in a prohibited area. Russell, who had a permit for the hand gun was released a short time after his arrest.
According to TSA regulations firearms are prohibited in carry-on luggage. Firearms can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
Along with being cited for carrying a firearm, Russell also faces up to a $7,500 fine and a TSA civil suit. The 79-year old Russell has been a model citizen his entire life. In 2011 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (America's highest civilian honor). Russell's reputation and the fact he was quickly released by authorities show that he presented no threat to law enforcement.
Russell is schedueld to have a statue revealed of himself in Boston on November 1.
Stay tuned to CLNS as more information of the story becomes available.