Newark TSA guard halted violator, then got the slip


Last Updated: 10:06 AM, January 7, 2010

Posted: 2:56 AM, January 7, 2010

Shocking video shows that the Transportation Security Administration agent who was chatting on a cellphone when a trespasser strolled unchecked into a secure area at Newark Airport had actually stopped the intruder moments beforehand, a source said last night.

The trespasser was seen in a passionate embrace with a woman about to board a plane -- and tried to follow her into a secure area afterward, the tape shows.

The TSA officer -- identified by sources as Ruben Hernandez -- initially kept him out, the tape shows. But the officer then gets the cell call and is seen chatting with some women while the trespasser, sneaking a look over his shoulder, steps under a rope barrier, the tape shows.

Investigators have narrowed down the possible flights the mystery girlfriend could have flown on, and hope to quiz her.

"They're checking the manifests," the source told The Post.

The footage was caught by Continental Airlines cameras; the Port Authority's cameras were later found to not be working.

The breach created havoc for thousands of travelers, many of whom had to be re-screened.

The TSA agent has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, officials said yesterday. The PA slapped him with a separate "breach of rules" citation.


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