A Daily News photographer yesterday touched off a terror alert aboard a JFK Airport jet bound for Mexico while covering a story about a little girl involved in a custody dispute.
The photographer, Andrew Theodorakis, had bought a ticket for Aeromexico Flight 403 to Mexico City, boarded the plane and started snapping photos of 6-year-old Elena Ascuncion Rivera, who had just tearfully said goodbye to her Queens dad.
A Manhattan federal appeals court last week upheld an order requiring the child to be returned to her mother in Mexico. The little girl had been smuggled into the country at around the age of 3 after her father settled here, but her mother was caught trying to sneak in to join them.
After snapping photos, Theodorakis jumped up from his seat while the jet was still on the tarmac and said, “I have to get off the plane!’’ according to law-enforcement sources.
That prompted the highest level of terror alert — which left the fotog in custody and resulted in all 150 passengers and their carry-on luggage being taken off and rescreened while dogs searched the plane.