CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team is showing you exclusive video in the investigation of the newest threat at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The video reveals what happened at a checkpoint during a scare over the coronavirus.
The incident happened last month, and police video and airport security video have just been released to the I-Team.
Workers with the Transportation Security Administration can be seen going to get police after a woman from California approached a checkpoint. An agent reported the woman said, “Good thing you are wearing gloves because I just licked my fingers and I have coronavirus.”
A police officer can then be heard asking, “So, do you understand what’s going on right now, ma’am?”
She answers, “I know what’s happening, but I think you’re misunderstanding me”
The officer then responds, “You didn’t say you had the coronavirus?”
She said, “Of course not, ’cause I don’t. You could check me, I know I don’t.”
The woman claimed she only told an agent she was glad he was wearing gloves.
Misunderstanding? Maybe, but certainly a big mess. The mention of the coronavirus led to that checkpoint being shut down for cleaning.
On the video, you can see police and airport authorities debating how they should handle what had just happened.
One part of the conversation among officers and agents went like this: “We have no legal right to detain her.”
“Uh… you do.”
“You do at this time now that there’s a national emergency, and the governor’s made special arrangements. You have somebody who has coronavirus.”
“We don’t know that yet.”
An officer followed up with the traveler, saying, “I know you didn’t say anything to me, but they’re under the impression that you said that to them.”
She responded, “I did not! He’s lying!”
Paramedics found that passenger had no fever and no other symptoms of COVID-19. So, that passenger didn’t go to the hospital. Police didn’t take her to jail even though officers made a report for inducing panic. They also never filed a charge in court.
In the end, the TSA made the woman wait 24 hours before flying out. She ultimately ended up with a warning letter from the TSA. The I-Team asked police repeatedly why they didn’t file any charge after all that and we have not received a response.