Cop saves TSA agent from attack by homeless woman
HONOLULU, HI (NBC) -- A homeless woman is accused of attacking a TSA officer at Honolulu International Airport -- and the entire incident was caught on video.
A tourist who stepped in to help the assault victim was hailed a hero.
Security video shows TSA officer Deanna Rezentes guarding the passenger exit to make sure no one entered the secured area on Saturday afternoon just before 1.
That’s when the TSA said a homeless woman knocked down a sign and then began attacking and punching the TSA officer who confronted her. It was a vicious scene.
Rezentes held onto the homeless woman stopping her from entering the secured area on the way to airline gates.
To the right of the screen, an off-duty policeman from California can be seen leaping over a glass barrier to subdue the attacker. He was wearing only socks because he'd taken off his shoes in the screening line.
He's Corporal Justin Rogers of the police department in the city of Pinole, California who was waiting in line with his family at the checkpoint ... Before boarding a flight home to the San Francisco Bay Area from vacation in Hawaii.
The TSA released a written statement saying it's grateful for Rogers' selfless, decisive reaction to the assault.
"His actions, coupled with the quick response by airport security, ensured that the integrity of the airport's sterile area was maintained, minimizing disruptions to the traveling public,” the TSA said.
State sheriff’s deputies arrested and booked 43-year-old Wailana Haiola, who's homeless, with assault. She was taken to Castle Medical Center in Kailua which has a mental unit.
People who work at the airport said between five and 15 homeless people sleep there every night and most of them don't cause trouble.
“It's kind of like any other public place. People are allowed to be here and unless they're committing a crime or doing something to bother someone, they're allowed to be here like anyone else,” said Caroline Sluyter of the Department of Transportation.
Some homeless people have told airport staff they like spending the night at the airport because with so much security there, they consider it much safer than the streets.