PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Five TSA officers were reportedly attacked and injured Tuesday morning in Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Tyrese Garner of Texas.

[WATCH: Man arrested after allegedly attacking TSA officers at Phoenix Sky Harbor]

The TSA says Garner attempted to rush a security checkpoint at the airport.

The attack was unprovoked, according to the TSA.

The police report states that Garner forced his way past the security checkpoint by "pushing past other passengers waiting in line, charging through the metal detector into the secure area where he assaulted the TSA screener... by punching her and knocking her to the ground."

The report also states "he punched four other TSA screeners."

Officials were able to subdue Garner and arrest him, but it wasn't without a struggle. The police report says Garner resisted arrest, "kicking and writhing on the ground."

One TSA officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Four other officers were taken to an urgent care. Their conditions are not known. 

Garner faces felony charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, as well as five counts of misdemeanor assault.

The police report states that Garner may be mentally disturbed, and may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs,

He was held on a $1,500 bond. His next court date is set for June 25.

In Phoenix, the head of a union that represents TSA agents said the incident highlights a troubling trend.  

He told Arizona's Family that TSA agents rely on police to defuse potentially dangerous situations instead of being equipped to deal with possible hazards.

"We are trained to deal with the active shooter... what to do... but we never thought we'd experience something like (a passenger attack)," said Juan Casarez, a veteran TSA agent at Sky Harbor Airport.

Faced with a record number of passengers at Sky Harbor Airport in 2018, Casarez said he never knew what kind of passengers he and his coworkers were going to interact with.

[WATCH: TSA agents rely on police to defuse potentially dangerous situations]

"We don't know their intent. We really don't know who's who. It's like what can happen at any grocery store or anywhere else," he said.

Nationally, the TSA has released the following statement about the incident:

“This unprovoked and brazen physical attack against our TSOs is unacceptable. We are grateful for our 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 ongoing investigation.”

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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