Neighbors speak out on man arrested at LAX

Posted: 10/10/12 at 4:35 pm EDT      Last Updated: 10/10/12 at 10:48 pm EDT

DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- Neighbors of a Boston man accused of trying to bring dangerous items on an airplane spoke out Wednesday.

7News got its first look at some of the dangerous weapons police said Yongda Harris tried to bring on a plane. The items in his luggage included a smoke grenade, knives, biohazard suit, body bags and a hatchet, among other things.

Harris allegedly tried to board a plane from Los Angeles to Boston. Police said he was wearing a bulletproof vest and flame-retardant pants under a trench coat.

The 28-year-old’s neighbors in Dorchester were stunned by his arrest.

“Very bad. You never know about your neighbors. Wow,” said Aida Diaz, Harris’ neighbor.

U.S. Customs agents said Harris is a United States citizen, originally from China and he was traveling from Japan where he works to his home in Boston.

Neighbors said Harris lives in Dorchester with his mother.

“It’s surprising. They are a very well kept family…I used see him outside,” said Kim Wilson, a neighbor.

7News learned Harris graduated from Boston University last year with a degree in biomedical laboratory and clinical sciences.

Authorities said they are still looking for a motive and pursuing a number of leads, but at this time officials do not think Harris had any links to terrorism.

Neighbors in Dorchester remain uneasy.

“It’s scary. They seemed like nice people, but I didn’t know all that was going on. Thankful they got him before he did anything,” said Claudeen Thirdgill, a neighbor.

Harris will return to federal court in Los Angeles on Friday.

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