New York

LaGuardia Airport Traveler Who Breached Security, Causing Evacuation, Is Arrested: Port Authority

What to Know

  • Authorities say they've arrested the man who breached security at LaGuardia Airport Tuesday night
  • The security breach forced a concourse to close and evacuate, and passengers to get re-screened
  • The 41-year-old man is charged with criminal trespassing

Authorities say they've arrested the man who allegedly walked past a TSA security checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport Tuesday night, causing a brief evacuation of a concourse there. 

A Port Authority spokesman said Pani Kumar Varanasi, 41, has been charged with criminal trespass. He was arrested at the airport. 

It's not clear if he has an attorney who could comment on the arrest. 

It’s unclear how the man managed to breach the checkpoint, but surveillance video appears to show him walking past security.

Concourse C in Terminal B was closed as police searched for the man around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday and passengers were re-screened. 

Officials said the airport resumed normal operations at 8:30 p.m. They said the man left the secure area shortly after entering it and that the situation was quickly resolved. 

The LaGuardia breach comes on the heels of an incident in February where 11 people went through an unmanned TSA checkpoint at JFK. Of those who went through, only three were later identified and re-screened. 

That incident drew the ire of the NYPD police and the Port Authority, who said they weren’t notified for two hours — and blamed the "belated notification by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration" for its inability to find the individuals before they boarded flights. 

At the time the TSA said it was reviewing the incident, and that "once our review is complete, TSA will take appropriate action.”

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