Man dead, guard hospitalized after security breach at Honolulu Airport
  • Monday, June 17, 2019
  • 79°
Top News

Man dead, guard hospitalized after security breach at Honolulu Airport

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The TSA checkpoint exit area where a man ran through early this morning, near the Mokulele Airlines and Island Air check-in at Honolulu Airport.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara held a press conference today at the area where a man breached TSA security early this morning at Honolulu Airport.

One security guard was still hospitalized with head injuries this afternoon after helping detain a man who breached security at the small commuter terminal at Honolulu Airport, an airport spokesman said.

The man who breached security died after becoming unresponsive while security detained him.

An airport security official said the man pushed away another security official to get into an area for ticketed passengers, then ran through two doors that lead to an outdoor walkway to where the airplanes are parked. He was stopped there by security.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said the man, who was in his 40s and not a ticketed traveler, tried to enter through the exit of the security checkpoint.

“He did manage to force his way into the secured area,” Sakahara said. “Seconds later, he was apprehended and taken into custody.”

The man became unresponsive while being held, and life-saving measures were initiated by the Honolulu Fire Department, EMS and Airport Rescue firefighters, Sakahara said. The man was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Sakahara said the incident happened at 5:48 a.m. today and had no impact on flight operations.

Sakahara said multiple law enforcement agencies responded, including Securitas law enforcement officers, state sheriffs and Transportation Security Administration officers. The Securitas law enforcement officer who was injured was hurt while trying to detain the man.

Detectives were investigating the incident this afternoon.


The Star-Advertiser’s Rob Shikina contributed to this report.


Comments (64)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • For the sake of taxpayers, we had better hope there was no underlying medical condition that contributed to the deceased’s behavior and that no chokeholds or any other airway-blocking submission techniques were used.

      • Think about it. There are many medical conditions that can lead to bizarre or nonsensical behaviors. If such was the case, then the deceased may not have been wholly responsible for his actions. As to who is responsible for his death, we’ll all have to await the findings of the medical examiner, and perhaps a criminal or civil proceeding.

        • Yes, bath salts come to mind, but in all likelihood it’s wasn’t bath salts, I’m sure the pro-illegal and pro-amnesty devout “D”onkey protesters will spin the story with more fake news and tell everyone that the guy was probably trying to make it back home and this is somehow Trump’s fault.

      • If he was insane the relatives will file lawsuits. A feast for lawyer and another shame for our equally insane judicial system. Or they will say excessive force. No matter what, some lawyer will take the case and an expensive out of court agreement will fatten them. We live in crazy times where our laws are made for the benefit of lawyers.

        • Who enact these laws? The legalese is all lawyer talk, vague to enhance further clarification! By whom? Simply money talks!

  • Serves him right.

    Hope he wasn’t black or muslim or illegal.
    Otherwise there will be protests and riots claiming “Police Brutality”.

    IMHO… Cops are heroes !!!

  • Shows how ineffective and unsafe HNL security is. You gotta wonder when you see the armed guards standing around inside the terminal talking story with each other. Most are older looking senior citizen types, who don’t give the impression they would be able to shoot, move, and communicate effectively if confronted by a serious threat. Good thing the guy who buss through nevah do anything mo’ worse than breach security.

      • Nothing odd about it. I have been through security check points here and abroad several hundred times. The security that exists at U.S. airports consists mainly of people operating x-ray machines, inspecting hand-carried luggage and purses, and doing occasional pat-downs. There are no gates or doors to be buzzed open by security personnel. It also is rare to see armed security guards around check points. It does not take much effort and takes just a few seconds for someone to run through a security check point and be in the terminal before security officials can react. An alert apparently was sounding when the breach occurred, which resulted in the multiple security agencies responding according to SOP.

        • Chubby? Your being kind. Some are morbidly obese and probably can’t catch their breath after walking a few feet. Run after a gate crasher? Forget it.

      • cholo would agree tsa or securitas agents would provide minimal challenge to get away from but cholo has seen state sheriffs in action multiple times at the airport and they are more than capable possibly more so than hpd. and they almost always respond in overpowering numbers like in 10 to 1. to elude them is pretty surprising.

      • Security at the check points are provided by the State through a contact with Securitas. The armed security are mostly retired cops. They were probably the ones that stopped the man. Other agencies responded after the fact.

      • Absolutely true. I saw a dicey situation unfold in an airport once, and quite a number of ‘just-regular-folks-kine’ appear to arrest, seemingly out of nowhere.

  • Kind of reminds me of in custody death syndrome in which the subject died unexpectedly while fighting with law enforcement personnel…..subject had some type of pre existing medical condition such as a heart condition also had some type of illegal drug in their system….struggled violently and overly exerted themselves while fighting with the police….cause hasn’t been determined why it occurs by the medical community …..

    • Yup, that’s why now police officers cannot lie arrested parties down in transport vehicle, they suffocate if they have this condition. People under influence, people who have
      Breathing issues.

    • Yup, that’s why now police officers cannot lie arrested parties down in transport vehicle, they suffocate if they have this condition. People under influence, people who have
      Asthma…..

    • HitLIARy, must have sprayed him in the face with a can of RAID! 😉 It’s ok folks, there’s no conspiracy, legally assisted suicide is legal in most states!

  • “Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, including Securitas Law Enforcement Officers, State Sheriffs and Transportation Security Administration officers. One law enforcement officer with Securitas was injured and has been taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries”…and was eventually wrestled to the ground by an airline employee. Makes me wonder if our airport security is able to effectively handle incidents when they happen. No problem when everything is fine.

  • Let’s wait for details. By the way, while traveling in Europe in the ’80’s there was a real concern about terrorism. Worked in Italy with a possible engagement in Germany. The airport in Milan we landed and boarded on the tarmac. Baggage claim was patrolled by armed military police (in pairs), police dogs with backup close by. I was told by my Italian contact that if I ended up in Hamburg airport in Germany and for any reason I was ordered to stop…stop…the military police will shoot first and ask questions later. In addition, never run thru the airport. So if anyone should object about airport security could be worse. Regardless, I’d opt for stringent security…just saying. 🙂

  • “Securitas Law Enforcement officers” Securitas folks are guards. Sheriffs, police, and TSA are law enforcement. The former are private, the latter are government.

    • The “Securitas Law Enforcement officers” are sworn, but have limited enforcement authority. Kinda sad it took so many bodies to apprehend one suspect. Imagine if it were a small group of trained extremists. :-O

    • TSA is not law enforcement, when referring to screening operations. Securitas is the de facto cop there until airport sheriffs arrive. Securitas got authority after AGs review , referring to armed officers.

      • True. In fairness, there are TSA 1811 series law enforcement officers in plainclothes, armed, that circulate airports, but I believe they are mostly there to assess safety operations and more so to bust corrupt TSA screeners. The regular TSA screeners are most certainly not law enforcement and cannot do anything more than a citizen’s arrest and/or able to defend themselves if attacked.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of “Security Theater”. What you see is there to make you “feel” safe. None of the security measures are anywhere near as effective as they may appear. “Good” people are inconvenienced under the guise of “security”, yet the “real threats” still exist and not much is being done to stop them from occurring.

    Enjoy your flight!

  • I traveled to HK and Singapore this summer. Seemed as though every customs and security checkpoint, they were armed and ready for a threat. It took about 10 minutes with the multiple lines available for all passengers to be screened and continue to their destination. Honolulu International is a pain with the antiquated facilities and overbearing agents to move you along. Our airport in my opinion is considered substandard though we charge a premium with the extra fees. Where does that money go to improve the airport? We’ve got a lot of simple cosmetic stuff done recently but that is nonsense to what we’ve collected the past several years. One guy breaking through security can shut down an entire terminal for hours. This didn’t happen in that case.

    • From what I can gather a there seems to be (my opinion) a lack of professionalism with the Security and Law Enforcement. In my prior comment and your comment, I believe the Security we’ve experience were professionals, in my instance, military police. What we seem to have is simply window dressing manning security checkpoints (we really don’t have ’em). Sad.

  • Reflecting on the chain of events, regardless of details regarding individual, it doesn’t reassure me that our security is adequate for someone who takes the time to plan an act of terrorism. I can be patient and deal with the time it takes to go thru security. The issue is not having much confidence with the security personnel, or lack of. My personal travel plans have been selective per the aforementioned. Sadly, it may take an unfortunate act of terrorism to elevate our level of security. Why don’t we charge a terrorism tax and charge it back to the airlines? Just saying… 🙂

  • Its called acute agitated delirium. usually people in this state who die after being apprehended by force are already on some kind of psychoactive substance. the biggest in Hawaii is ice (meth). cardiac arrhythmia is usually what kills them when they are already agitated and running. kind of like their heart gives out. If the deceased blood stream tests positive for drugs, there is no sane lawyer that would take the case. Even if the deceased blood tests negative, the case is still hard to win baring no wrong doing of security or law enforcement. when the deceased forcefully runs through a security agent, clearly the fault and blame is on the deceased. Everyone is paranoid and fault finding in today’s society.

  • Typical of SA to be inconclusive and not thorough in their presentation of a news story.

    Questions:
    What caused the man to become unresponsive while in detainment?
    Was this a case of this man being held down in a way he could not breathe?
    Was this man’s death a result of excessive force at the hands of police or other authority?

    I am not questioning WHY the need for this man to be detained.
    I question HOW he was detained.

    It says, “the man become unresponsive while being held”. Held? In what way? Was he choked to death?

    No matter what this man did, he deserved due process. Was he afforded that? That is his right.

  • When they are overdosing and into excited delirium, they are already dying and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it. Even if they’re in the ER when this happens you can’t get the heart to restart.

    When they are overheating and the body is shutting down that is why they act so bizarre and violent…they are dying!

Scroll Up