Man arrested after breaching secure area at LaGuardia Airport

Posted: Updated:

A man was arrested Thursday after he breached a secure area at LaGuardia Airport earlier in the week.

Video shows the man, who has been identified as Indian national Pani Kumar Varanasi, entering what is supposed to be a secure area of LaGuardia Airport's Terminal B. The video shows Varanasi going the wrong way through what TSA officials admit is an exit and he walks right past a security checkpoint.

Varanasi later turned himself in and was arrested for criminal trespass. He told Port Authority police he was confused about where he was going and didn't realize he was in a secure area.

The breach, which comes in the wake of the Manchester terror attack and at the height of the Memorial Day holiday getaway, has left some travelers like Jeff Naugle a bit unsettled.

"It's disappointing that it would happen," he says. "Maybe a little surprising too especially with things that have happened more recently in Europe."

TSA officials say the checkpoint was temporarily closed and the terminal was evacuated to conduct a sweep.  Nothing dangerous was found.

Rep. Peter King reached out to the TSA stating in part that he was deeply concerned that the man was able to access the area, and added, "I'm contacting you to request TSA conduct a thorough review of the situation to identify security gaps that allowed this to occur."

TSA officials said they will be responding to King directly.

News 12 has recently updated to a brand new version of our iOS and Android apps. If you don't have auto updates enabled on your devices, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to update to the latest version. This will ensure you keep getting up-to-date local news, traffic and weather information.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."