POSTED: Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 1:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A homeless woman is accused of attacking a TSA officer at Honolulu International Airport, and the entire incident is caught on video.
Security video shows TSA officer Deanna Rezentes guarding the passenger exit to make sure no one entered the secured area on Saturday afternoon.
That's when the TSA says a homeless woman knocked down a sign and then began attacking and punching the TSA officer who confronted her.
It was a vicious scene.
Rezentes held onto the homeless woman, stopping her from entering the secured area on the way to airline gates.
But then, Corporal Justin Rogers, an off-duty policeman from California, leaped over a glass barrier and subdued the attacker.
He was wearing only socks because he'd taken off his shoes in the screening line.
Corporal Rogers was waiting in line with his family at the checkpoint before boarding a flight home to the San Francisco bay area.
The TSA released a written statement saying it's grateful for Rogers' selfless, decisive reaction to the assault.
State sheriffs deputies arrested and booked 43-year-old Wailana Haiola, who is homeless, with assault.
She was taken to Castle Medical Center in Kailua which has a mental unit.
People who work at the airport say between five and 15 homeless people sleep there every night, and most of them don't cause trouble.
"It's kind of like any other public place. People are allowed to be here and unless they're committing a crime or doing something to bother someone, they're allowed to be here like anyone else," said Caroline Sluyter with the Department of Transportation.
Some homeless people have told airport staff they like spending the night at the airport because with so much security, they consider it much safer than the streets.
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