Ready Set Tackle
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 01, 2019
Being a TSA agent at Phoenix
Sky Harbor International
Airport doesn’t mean you
have to understand the game
of football or does it?
On June 18, Tyrese Garner, 19, showed
up at Sky Harbor apparently in a bigger
hurry than any other passenger to board a
flight to—well, by his actions he was going
straight to jail. It seems he was in such a
hurry to get through the security checkpoint
that he rushed several TSA agents, wounding
five of them. One agent was seriously
injured enough that the person was taken to
a local hospital.
Garner pushed through a security
checkpoint, and what is generally an orderly
procedure, turned to chaos.
“At approximately 9:45 a.m., Tuesday,
June 18, multiple TSA officers at Phoenix
Sky Harbor International Airport were attacked
by a male individual who attempted
to rush through the security checkpoint in
Terminal 4. TSOs and officers with the Phoenix
Police Department who are assigned to
the airport immediately intervened and subdued
the individual who was subsequently
arrested,” said TSA officials in a press release.
“The unprovoked and brazen physical
attack against our TSOs is unacceptable. We
are grateful for a committed workforce and
for the role they play in protecting the traveling
public every day. We continue to monitor
the safety and health of the TSOs involved in
this incident and will cooperate fully with the
In the video of the attack, he appeared
as a football running back; three yards and a
cloud of dust. Garner pushed past other passengers
waiting in line. He charged through
a metal detector into the secure area and
punched a female TSA screener, knocking
her to the ground. Garner then punched four
other TSA screeners as he tried to charge
into the concourse.
Several TSA staff finally took Garner to
the ground and held him until police arrived.
According to the official report, Garner
of Lubbock, Texas, may have some mental
health issues. I think that goes without
saying. Officers had to take the man to the
ground again where they held him until fire
department staff arrived and strapped him
to a gurney.
After viewing the video, I have to applaud
TSA screeners and staff for taking
this man down, and acting in a professional
manner. Garner was booked on suspicion of
criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and five
counts of assault.
First of all, the airport security line is no
place to practice football. TSA staff do take
their jobs seriously, and thank goodness for
that. Well done, TSA defense.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.