Gunderson Arrested On Way To ACM Awards

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April 1, 2012 | 6:26pm EST

Love And Theft star Eric Gunderson was arrested at a Tennessee airport while en route to Sunday’s Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in Las Vegas.
Gunderson was heading through Nashville airport on Wednesday when he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officials, who found a large hunting knife in the star’s backpack.

The musician was detained as a flight risk – but the band’s manager was able to straighten out the problem.

Gunderson’s musical partner, Stephen Barker Liles, tells Taste of Country, “I was waiting for Eric to go through security, and he always gets stopped because he’s a diabetic… he has needles and stuff like that in his bag. Then, I see them pull out this huge hunting knife with like a 10-inch blade. The guy looks at Eric like, ‘This isn’t a pocket knife, this is a serious you’re going to kill everyone on the plane knife.’ So they called the cops right away, and I was like, ‘Oh c**p! Are we going to make our flight? We’re going to (Las) Vegas for our first ACM show!’

“Then, they take him in this room, and I went and called our manager. And 30 or 40 minutes later, he comes back and they let him go and we barely made our flight. They let him go with a misdemeanour, but if he was on probation or whatever, he would’ve gone straight to jail. He just took the wrong backpack. He hunted the weekend before, so he didn’t realize it was in there.”

Love and Theft was nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year, but Thompson Square walked away with the prize in an early win on Saturday night.

Married singers Keifer and Shawna Thompson were more than overjoyed with the award – taking to the stage at the Mandalay Bay Resort to collect the prize, the couple broke down in tears as Keifer thanked the crowd and declared, “It’s hard to talk when you’re crying.”

The 47th annual ceremony takes place on Sunday night.

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