3 TSA officers injured in attack by traveler at Phoenix airport
Apr 26, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: 10:23 am
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(CNN) — Three Transportation Security Administration officers were injured in an “unprovoked and brazen” attack by a female traveler at a Phoenix airport Tuesday morning, the agency said.
The TSA officers were working at a security checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport just before 6 a.m. local time when they were attacked by the traveler during the security screening process, the TSA said in a statement.
Two of the officers were taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released, according to the TSA. Authorities did not provide details on the nature of their injuries.
The Phoenix Police Department responded and arrested 19-year-old Makiah Coleman, Sgt. Brian Bower told CNN. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she had an attorney.
Officials have also not said what led up to the attack, which TSA said resulted the closure of the security checkpoint.
“We are grateful for our committed workforce and for the role they play in protecting the traveling public every day. Unfortunately, this situation not only resulted in three of our TSA officers being injured, but inconvenienced approximately 450 travelers who had to be redirected to a nearby checkpoint for security screening due to the actions of this traveler,” the TSA statement said.
The TSA said it will pursue independent enforcement actions against the traveler. It warned that those who commit physical violence against its employees will be prosecuted and could face fines of nearly $14,000.
“We continue to monitor the recoveries of the employees involved in this incident and are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation. TSA will also pursue independent enforcement actions against the traveler,” it said.
It’s not the first such incident at the airport. In 2019, five TSA agents were injured there when a man tried to rush through a security checkpoint, according to officials at the time.
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