Suspect Slips Past Security And Attacks A Man, Alarming Travelers And Investigators
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Tight security at the Salt Lake City International Airport was apparently not tight enough over the weekend, when Federal authorities say a man slipped past TSA officers without a ticket and then attacked someone inside.
“Oh he got through without a ticket?” said one traveler.
This comment was from one of many passing through the security check point on Wednesday, surprised and concerned to hear about the incident.
“That’s a big issue then. That should not happen,” he said.
The airport is no stranger to stress, but Saturday night’s incident went well beyond the normal hustle and bustle.
Salt Lake City police said 42 year old Victor Cossio entered Terminal One at around 8:30pm and made his way through the security checkpoint.
How did a man slip by @TSA at terminal 1 @slcairport without a ticket? Federal authorities want to know. Police say the suspect then attacked a man inside and stole his phone. Hear from police and travelers at 6 on #KSLTV pic.twitter.com/kGqmZBjmMm
— Matt Rascon (@MattRasconNews) April 3, 2019
According to the Transportation Security Administration, “The individual arrested for robbery and assault by law enforcement officers…had been screened with his belongings through the security checkpoint with no alarms.”
Perhaps even more alarming is what police said Cossio did next.
“(A man) was sitting there minding his own business when suddenly he was attacked,” Salt Lake Police Detective Greg Wilking said. “Right now it looks like a very random attack.”
Cossio is accused of punching a stranger several times in Concourse G and then taking off with the man’s cell phone.
“Scary!” said Lisa Davies who was at the airport Wednesday, heading back home after a Utah wedding.
“They seem very thorough” she said while looking at TSA officers. “But there’s always somebody right?”
TSA said it “is reviewing its travel document verification process at SLC and will make any needed changes to ensure all procedures are properly followed.”
Another traveler, Sarah Procter, said “So many security measures happening to try and keep us safe and then still someone slips through and does something like that. It’s pretty horrific.”
A TSA spokeswoman said one of its officers had undergone “remedial training” since the incident. Local and federal authorities continue to investigate.
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