Metro Airport lockdown begins to ease

traveler arrested after forcing past security

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DETROIT (Detroit Free Press) — Metro Airport’s McNamara Terminal was put on security lockdown for at least two hours late Thursday after a man forced his way through a security checkpoint without being screened around 8:45 p.m., according to officials.
TSA Press Secretary Ross Feinstein said the man arrived “from Little Rock and allegedly missed his connection to Los Angeles.”
He said the man ignored the instructions of a TSA agent and forced his way back into the terminal. The man was still in custody late Thursday, he said.
Brian Lassaline, airport spokesperson, explained:
“A passenger, who was already on the secured side of the screened checkpoint, exited through the line and made the decision to turn back around and go through the secured side without being screened again.”
Reports on Twitter indicated some security barricades were reopening around 10:25 p.m. But Feinstein said close to 11 p.m. that the lockdown had not been fully lifted.
He said local law enforcement agencies were still sweeping the area, but some passengers were being permitted to leave the airport.
Passenger Jerry Perez said he was allowed to leave around 10:15 p.m. and that people tried to “bum rush” the gate to exit the airport.
The lockdown threw travelers and those picking them up into turmoil. Earlier, a line of cars outside the terminal stretched the length of the terminal and three lanes deep. Baggage from flights from about 8:45 p.m. were still sitting on the baggage carousels. Police were seen standing inside closed doors in front of escalators, leading down to the baggage area.
James Geiger, a pediatric surgeon at CS Mott Children’s Hospital, said his flight from Phoenix landed around 8:55 p.m. and he said everyone was placed under a lockdown shortly after that.
“They lowered the gates where no one could go into the terminal,” Geiger said. “It looks like they’re not letting any flights board or leave.”
Geiger said he saw multiple TSA agents searching the perimeter.
“They looked like they were looking around or looking for someone,” he said.
Mary Coleman had already been waiting for more than a half-hour for her nephew to get off his flight from New Orleans.
“He’s texting me and saying the concourse is completely shut down in between the gates and the baggage area,” Coleman said earlier in the lockdown. “He said they aren’t being told what’s going on.”
On Twitter, dozens of travelers shared their ordeal. Tweeted Michael Siegel: “Looks like TSA is working really hard to find the guy who breached security” — along with a photo of TSA workers standing at a checkpoint.
Scott Warheit said he was sitting in a car outside of the airport waiting for his parents to exit the building.
“They are in a Delta terminal, caged in and unable to leave or get to baggage claim,” Warheit said. “I’m parked outside baggage claim. There’s lots of traffic.”

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