A 30-year-old TSA screener at New York's JFK airport was arrested Wednesday for allegedly throwing a cup of hot coffee on an American Airlines pilot, according to The New York Post.
Around 5 a.m. March 28, off-duty pilot Steven Trivett was exiting Terminal 8 when he overhead several TSA agents involved in a profanity-laced conversation. Trivett, of Tennessee, stopped to tell the agents that they should "conduct themselves more professionally in uniform and not use profanity or the n-word," sources told The Post.
At that point, an unidentified TSA worker told him to "mind his own business." Trivett said he was a TSA officer and an armed pilot. When he reached for ID tags on Lateisha El, she threw a cup of hot coffee on him and pushed him. Luckily, Trivett was not seriously injured. El was given a ticket for harassment and misdemeanor-assault charges.
In response, a TSA spokesperson told Gothamist,
TSA holds our employees to the highest professional standards and has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior at airport checkpoints. TSA is looking into this incident and will take swift and appropriate action. The unacceptable behavior of a few individuals in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security Officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe. As you are aware, a TSA officer at that very same airport this week detected an artfully concealed knife hidden inside a jar of mayonnaise that a passenger was trying to sneak on board an aircraft. That is much more reflective of the type of dedicated work our officers perform regularly.
The TSA has weathered numerous debacles, particularly at JFK airport, of late. In February, a TSA agent was caught stealing $5,000 in cash from a passenger's jacket as he was going through security. In January, two former TSA agents were sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation for stealing $40,000 from luggage in January 2011.
And, perhaps most famously, the TSA apologized for strip-searching two elderly women at JFK in December.