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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has urged passengers to “remain calm and respectful” at security checkpoints after a number of incidents involving recalcitrant travelers, including one who allegedly bit two agents.
The biting incident occurred in Denver earlier this month and is still under investigation, the TSA said Thursday. In another incident, a passenger in Louisville, Kentucky, attacked two TSA officers while trying to “break through an exit lane,” the agency said.
The suspect faces state charges for trespassing, escaping and evading the police, assault and resistance to arrest. Both passengers face fines of up to $ 13,910, according to a TSA statement.
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“Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent to become intractable or violent. Behavior, “said TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator Darby LaJoye in a press release.” We value our ongoing partnership and coordination with the FAA and together stand in a unified position of zero tolerance for attacks on our employees. “
In May, the Department of Homeland Security warned travelers in anticipation of the summer months and made it clear that passengers who misbehave will be penalized.
The Federal Aviation Administration received 3,062 reports of recalcitrant passenger incidents between January 1 and June 20, the agency said. Of these, 487 preliminary investigations were initiated.
The numbers are a sharp increase from last year when the FAA opened just 183 investigations during the pandemic. Several incidents of flight crew passengers being combative over social distancing and the airline’s mask policies have gone viral in recent months.
Security officers have also been targeted. There have been 69 incidents of physically assaulting TSA workers since the coronavirus pandemic began, the agency told Fox News. Since the mask requirement came into force in public transport, the authority has initiated 1,700 compliance investigations, it said.
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“These incidents unnecessarily interrupt travel, delay flights and other transport operations across the country,” the press release said.
A state mask mandate continues to apply on airplanes, trains, buses, and other public transportation. At airports across the country, 1.9 million people were screened at checkpoints on Memorial Day weekend last month, the TSA said.