Family identifies man who died after airport security breach

Man dies after breaching security at Honolulu International Airport
Published: Feb. 18, 2017 at 3:19 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2017 at 6:01 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man in his 40s died Saturday morning after breaching a TSA security checkpoint at the Honolulu International Airport.

Family members have identified the man as Charles Kosi Jr.

The incident happened just after 5:45 a.m. at the airport's commuter terminal, where Island Air and Mokulele Airlines operate.

State Department of Transportation officials said the suspect forced his way through the exit lane of the security checkpoint and gained access to an area where ticketed passengers were waiting to board.

The suspect managed to make it outside, to the Airport Operations Area, before he was placed in custody.

"Even after he was detained, there was still a struggle and the suspect remained combative," said Tim Sakahara, DOT spokesman. "And at that point is when he became unresponsive."

Officials said multiple agencies were involved, including state deputy sheriffs, Honolulu police and Honolulu firefighters.

First responders performed CPR before transporting the suspect to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A male Securitas officer suffered head injuries in the process. He was also taken to the hospital for treatment.

News archives indicate Kosi once violated Maui Community Correctional Center's residential furlough program by cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet. When he was later found, officials said deputy sheriffs mistakenly released him and he was fugitive for months before police tracked him down.

According to court documents, in addition to charges of escape, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, Kosi also had a number of convictions ranging from car theft to resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.

Records show Kosi has been in and out of prison over the last decade on methamphetamine charges.

DOT officials said Kosi was not armed at the time of the incident and was not a ticketed passenger.

HNN's Mahealani Richardson was in the waiting area of the terminal when the incident happened.

"All of a sudden this man, a very large man, ran through the terminal and started ramming himself through the doors," said Richardson, who was with her son waiting to board a plane to Molokai. "He looked like he was trying to get out to the runway where the planes are."

Passengers who witnessed the chaos unfold were frightened and confused.

"It was really scary during those moments, we had no idea what was going on," said Richardson. "We just had to duck down and cover ourselves because we didn't know if the suspect was going to come at us. We had to protect ourselves."

DOT officials said security checkpoint operations at the commuter terminal were briefly suspended during the incident.

No flights were impacted, but detectives stayed on scene for more than five hours to investigate.

The Honolulu Police Department has opened an unattended death investigation.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.

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