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Driver Pulled Over By Police For Being Radioactive

police find man is radioactive
(Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

You’re driving down the road, and suddenly a police officer pulls you over, and tells you it’s because you’re radioactive!

A Stratford, Connecticut-firefighter was on his way to work May 10 when suddenly a police cruiser appeared in his rear-view mirror and pulled him over. 42-year-old Mike Apatow was sure he wasn’t speeding, or committing any violations, but the officer’s reason for pulling him over was stunning:  His car had tripped the radiation sensor in the patrolman’s vehicle! Apatow was not smuggling nuclear bombs or dirty bomb components, earlier in the day, he’d had a nuclear stress test because of a recent spike in his blood pressure. A small amount of radioactive material, the equivalent of a full set of xrays, was injected into his bloodstream to help track blood flow to his heart.

While the amount was not enough to cause any harm (this is common in such tests) it WAS enough to trigger the radiation monitor in the officer’s car! Officials said they know of other cases where people who have had similar tests and then been traveling have set off airport alarms. Apparently these police monitors are hypersensitive, and Apatow was ‘hot’ enough to register.

He joked about the incident, saying he imagined it was like a cartoon; driving down the street and his car was glowing. Police departments in larger communities have been equipped with the sensors in the years since 911 to help counter terrorism, especially detecting the presence or transport of potentially harmful nuclear materials–including ‘dirty bombs.’

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