Judge mulls medication for man who disrupted KCI travel

A judge said Thursday that she will rule soon on whether to force medication on a man charged with disrupting Kansas City air travel on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Federal authorities arrested Anthony Falco on Sept. 11, 2011, after he refused to allow security personnel at Kansas City International Airport to search his luggage and made remarks that the screeners took to be threatening.

Since then, doctors have found him incompetent to stand trial because of his schizophrenia, for which he refuses to take medication. Medical personnel have said they do not believe that even in his current state he is a danger to himself or anyone else.

Federal defendants can be forcibly medicated to make them competent for trial only after a judge issues an order finding that it is necessary and that important governmental interests are at stake.

Prosecutors have said they have an interest in pursing the case because Falco is charged with serious crimes and could receive up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

But at a hearing Thursday, Laine Cardarella, Falco’s lawyer, said prosecutors had “overcharged” the case.

“There was nothing dangerous in that bag at all,” Cardarella said. “Mr. Falco made no threats. He didn’t try to sneak anything in.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Hays said she would study the issue and rule soon.