State bans guard over threats on videotape
Wackenhut security also suspends the Maui airport officer
WAILUKU » State transportation officials have banned a Wackenhut Corp. security guard on Maui from working on any state property or facility.
The decision, announced yesterday, followed a review of security guard Eric Brown's conduct during a confrontation with a Pacific Wings employee Sunday morning at Kahului Airport.
State transportation officials said a videotape showed Brown making threatening comments to the Pacific Wings employee. Airline company President Greg Kahlstorf said his employees had been given video cameras to record any incidents with Wackenhut guards.
Kahlstorf said the guard spit at the video camera held by airline operations manager Gabriel Kimbrell during a tense confrontation. The guard allegedly threatened to shoot him in the head.
Brown, 49, was arrested and charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor. He posted $200 bail.
"The guard's words and actions were completely unacceptable and uncalled-for," said Brian Sekiguchi, state deputy director of airports. "They are not in line with the level of service that the state and the public expects and deserves.
"The safety of the public and the people who work at the airport is a top priority for the administration, and this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Sekiguchi said.
Kahlstorf said he found Sekiguchi's comments "tremendously encouraging. That's really progress," Kahlstorf said.
Wackenhut officials declined comment.
The state also has ordered Wackenhut to reassess its delivery of service and to increase employee training. State officials said they will work with Wackenhut to ensure its level of training meets the state's guidelines for security and public safety.
Wackenhut suspended Brown earlier this week and told the state it would comply with its orders, state officials said.
"Wackenhut, as well as all other providers of service to the state, must be willing to be held to a higher standard of conduct, and we are encouraged that the company is taking responsibility for its employees," Sekiguchi said.
According to Pacific Wings officials, Kimbrell parked near Gate 7 at the commuter terminal on Sunday when he was blocked on both sides by security guard vehicles and issued a citation. That led to the incident between Brown and Kimbrell.
It follows a previous conflict on Oct. 20 involving Wackenhut and Pacific Wings employees at the state airport manager's conference room. On that day, police charged Kahlstorf with harassment and resisting arrest, and another Pacific Wings employee with third-degree assault. Kahlstorf alleged he was assaulted by Wackenhut after being handcuffed.