On Tuesday morning, three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers were unexpectedly attacked by a traveler at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The incident took place before 6 a.m. local time during the security screening process at a checkpoint.
Two of the injured TSA officers were transported to a hospital for treatment and subsequently released. The extent of the injuries that they suffered from has not been disclosed.
Phoenix police officers responded to the scene and arrested 19-year-old Makiah Coleman. The suspect now faces multiple charges, including assault, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct.
The motive behind the assault remains unclear, and it is unknown whether Coleman has legal representation. The attack resulted in the temporary closure of the security checkpoint, causing inconvenience to approximately 450 travelers. All of those potential passengers had to be redirected to a nearby checkpoint for screening.
The TSA expressed gratitude for its dedicated workforce and their commitment to protecting the public while traveling. The agency plans to pursue independent enforcement actions against the assailant. It also warned that individuals who engage in physical violence against its employees will be prosecuted and may face fines of up to $14,000.
The TSA is closely monitoring the recovery of the injured employees and is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Other similar incidents have occurred at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2019, five TSA agents were injured when a man attempted to rush through a security checkpoint.