Cop Tasers Passengers At Atlanta Airport Security As Fight Breaks Out Over Man Without ID

Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning a fight broke out at an Atlanta airport security checkpoint. Three teenagers were trying to get through TSA screening while one of them lacked I.D.

There’s a simple procedure for confirming your identity without ID. It takes a little longer but the TSA accesses privately compiled databases with personal information and you confirm details about yourself.

Instead of simply going down that road, a fight broke out – members of the group attacked another passenger – and the incident ended with a police taser.

Police said the TSA employee and the three got into an argument in which witnesses said the group was ” disruptive and speaking disrespectfully to the TSA employee.”

At that point, police said a bystander admonished the three for their behavior, but that triggered at least two of the group to “attack” the bystander.

An officer then got to the checkpoint and used his taser to subdue two of them. The third “surrendered without force,” according to police.

The three passengers have been charged with criminal trespass and with disorderly conduct. There might be a plausible assault charge, though no one appears to have been injured, but it’s not clear to me how the passengers – who intended to use the checkpoint for its intended purpose, and were at the airport to travel – could have been engaged in criminal trespass. But the criminal law does a lot of funny things.

Even before 9/11 the security checkpoint wasn’t a place to even joke about airport security. In the post-9/11 world it’s a militarized zone. It seems about the worst possible place to lose control and get into a fight is in front of the TSA, where everything is caught on video, and with law enforcement at the ready.

(HT: Secret Flying)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Regardless of whether the TSA did or did not use any alternate procedures for identify verification, the only persons responsible for this were the people that believe that throwing punches is acceptable anywhere, but esp. in an area that separates the unscreened world from airport concourses.
    Since that process wasn’t completed, regaining control of the situation was far more important than allowing a group of people to potentially go through security and empty the concourses of tens of thousands of law-abiding passengers.
    Glad the Atlanta Police were so close.

    Maybe these folks will get added to the no-fly list and even an ID won’t get them through in the future.

  2. Phuck that RACIST fat bastard of an airport cop. He had no justification to fire his Taser which should ONLY BE USED IN SITUATIONS WHERE A LETHAL FIREARM WOULD BE CALLED FOR due to imminent severe harm. A few punches by teenagers is not that.

  3. I apologize for the above comment. I misread the situation. I thought the teens were throwing hands amongst themselves. It turns out they were attacking ANOTHER PASSENGER. In this case if I was that other passenger you BET YOUR ASS I WANT MY ATTACKERS TASERED.

  4. @ P Ness — I thought cop did an outstanding job (nice to see for a change). He responded very quickly and with exactly the appropriate level of force needed to bring the situation under control.

  5. (Not a lawyer; not your lawyer.) Generally, trespass means staying somewhere after being told to leave. (You might be told by a sign, or fencing might communicate that an area should not be entered, etc. — or someone might stand there and say “leave!”)

    In this case, if they entered for a legitimate purpose, but were then told to leave and did not, that’s trespass.

  6. So it looks like white tank top, red hoodie and camo hoodie attacked man in black Nike shirt (seen sitting upright at the end). White tank and red hoodie got tasered white camo hoodie got taken to down by victim.

  7. @MARK. Consider the consequences of your preferred course of action: 1) A multiple homicide takes place (whether justified or not—that will be determined in court years later.) 2) The entire airport gets shut down because there is a multiple killing/murder scene/possible terrorist event. 3) Nobody gets to fly into or out of the airport for hours. That screening area becomes a possible crime scene and certainly a HASMAT clean up scene, shutting it down for days. 4) The would-be flyers in and out of the airport miss their jobs, weddings, funerals, vacations, business trips, etc. 5) You prove yourself to be an idiot due to your lack of lineal reasoning skills.

  8. Would love to see them on the no-fly list. Obviously there are some mental health issues there as well…..

  9. I hope my new Guatemalan gardener and housekeeping pair make it across the Rio Grande river today.

  10. Couldn’t they have just waited till they got on their Spirit flight to begin the bout?

  11. @NinLA go f__k yourself. Perhaps the airport would be shut down for a period, certainly not days, but it would stop this crap from happening constantly. I’m sick of assholes thinking they can behave however they want in airports and other public facilities. I will guarantee you that my IQ is higher than yours, so be careful who you call an idiot.

  12. @marc HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I don’t think your iq is even higher than room temperature

    If your iq is so high why are you posting stupid shit in these comments? Go solve p = np. Go do something useful in the world that isn’t fucking racist. Fucker. Let’s say you do have a high iq. All it means is you are a shit person.

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