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Off-duty Calif cop helps airport agent in Honolulu

  • Associated Press
  • April 5, 2013 - 4:20 PM

HONOLULU - An off-duty California police officer who came to the rescue of a security agent being assaulted at the Honolulu airport was praised by federal authorities as video of the incident was released.

Corporal Justin Rogers of the Pinole Police Department was on vacation and had just taken off his shoes to go through security on March 30 when he spotted the assault.

Security footage released on Thursday shows a woman hitting a female Transportation Security Administration officer and putting her in a headlock. Rogers jumped over a small wall and threw her to the ground.

Rogers identified himself to responding TSA agents and was given a pair of handcuffs to put on the suspect, Pinole police Cmdr. Pete Janke told the Contra Costa Times ( http://bit.ly/10CAkXx).

He wrapped up the arrest in time to make his flight back home.

"His actions, coupled with the quick response of airport security, minimized disruptions to the traveling public," the TSA said in a statement.

Lt. Michael Oakland, commander for the state sheriff's airport patrol section, said the woman is homeless and is known to frequent the airport and other areas.

Hawaii News Now reported the 43-year-old was taken to Castle Medical Center, which has a mental health unit.

Oakland said he was "very upset" the TSA released the video, however, since it's evidence in an active investigation. He's concerned a judge won't allow prosecutors to show the video in court because it's been released to the public.

"They've just blown our case," he said.

The TSA agent had gone over to stop the woman after she pushed over a security sign marking a lane reserved for pilots and staff, Janke said.

Rogers, a six-year veteran of the Pinole Police Department, "acted decisively, and was looking out for the other people around him. He did what we would expect a Pinole police officer to do," Janke said.

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