Local History

Published on April 21st, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson


When Prince Stole Emergency Airplane Equipment in Jackson, MS

While on tour opening for Rick James in March of 1980, Dr. Fink suggested that prince have a megaphone as a stage prop. Fortunately, Prince and Fink boarded a plane the next day that had an emergency bullhorn.

prince-megaphone-bullhorn-arrest-mugshot-1980Fink pointed out that the plane had a perfectly acceptable “emergency bullhorn” they could acquire for a stage prop. Prince, lacking a carry on, convinced Fink to stash the bullhorn in his bag. A passenger, alarmed by the thieving she witnessed, alerted the flight attendant of the crime.

“The next thing we know, the pilot comes out and announces, ‘It has come to our attention someone has removed some emergency equipment from the airplane, which is a federal offense ,” said Fink.

Sky Marshals then searched passengers and found the emergency bullhorn in Fink’s carry on and arrested him. Prince volunteered to be arrested with him.

Once at the jail, Prince signed autographs and posed for photographs. Prince made the concert, but not with the federally protected emergency bullhorn.

prince-mugshot-Jackson-Mississippi-1980-arrest in article

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About the Author

Brittain was an associate editor of The Local Voice from 2015-2018, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, Mississippi.

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