Airline fight with airport security erupts again
The ongoing dispute between Pacific Wings employees and Kahului Airport security officers worsened yesterday, with police making an arrest after an alleged altercation and death threats.
Police arrested Eric Brown, a 49-year-old Wackenhut security officer, and charged him with terroristic threatening after he allegedly threatened a Pacific Wings employee. Brown was released after posting $200 bail.
Police were called to the airport shortly after 11 a.m., where Gabe Kimbrell, a general operations manager and pilot for Pacific Wings, claimed he was being harassed by airport security officers.
Kimbrell told police he was threatened by Brown while he was videotaping the security officers in the area.
Pacific Wings President James Greg Kahlstorf said he had equipped his employees with camcorders after he and one of his employees were assaulted and arrested by Wackenhut security officers last month.
"I'm worried something tragic is going to happen," Kahlstorf said last night.
Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the Pacific Wings employee was in an active loading zone for a while.
"He was asked to move his vehicle, but he didn't. He allegedly refused," Ishikawa said. Afterward, an argument occurred between the security officer and employee.
Kimbrell said he was blocked in by a security guard and could not move his vehicle.
"At no time did they ask me to move my vehicle. When they showed up, I was in the process of moving stuff," he said.
Kimbrell said he pulled into a loading zone area to unload some aircraft seats to be sent to Oahu for reupholstering when the security officer showed up and said he was going to issue him a citation.
Kimbrell grabbed a camcorder when a second security guard showed up. That guard attempted to break the camcorder's display window and twisted Kimbrell's wrist in an attempt to remove the camcorder from his right hand, he said.
That was when Brown arrived and threatened him, he said.
Officials with the Wackenhut Corp. could not be reached for comment.
Kimbrell said he planned to file a temporary restraining order today against Brown and the other Wackenhut security guard who attempted to remove the camcorder from his hand.