May 7, 2010— -- A Miami Transportation Security Administration screener was arrested this week after allegedly using an expandable police baton to beat up a co-worker in an airport parking lot.
The reason for the assault: police said the victim and other TSA employees had been making fun of the size of the screener's genitals.
The disagreement started several months ago when screener Rolando Negrin, 44, and his co-workers were trained on the TSA's controversial full body image scanners.
The body scanners allow TSA staff in a separate room view images of the of airline passengers' full bodies, private parts and all, with the passenger's face blurred.
According to the police report, during the training exercise the machines revealed that Negrin "had a small penis and [his] co-workers made fun of him on a daily basis."
After months of ridicule, Negrin told the police that "he could not take the jokes anymore and lost his mind."
So on Tuesday night, when fellow screen Hugo Osorno, 34, arrived at his car at the end of a shift, Negrin was allegedly waiting for him.
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Negrin wanted Osorno to let him inside the car to "resolve a problem and finally respect him," according to the police report. When Osorno refused to open the passenger door, Negrin allegedly came around the vehicle and took out his police baton.
He then allegedly said in Spanish: "Get on your knees or I will kill you and you better apologize," two other TSA agents told police.
"I'm going to blow your head off," one of the officers also allegedly heard Negrin say.
With the police baton, Negrin then started to hit Osorno on his arms and back. Osorno told police he "was in fear" and apologized. Negrin the left the parking lot in his own car.
Osorno was treated for his injuries by the fire department in the lot. He suffered bruises and cuts on his back and arms. Negrin was arrested the next day at his post at the TSA checkpoint.
Negrin was charged with aggravated battery and released Wednesday night on $7,500 bond.
Negrin and Osorno didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment this morning.
Miami TSA Officer Allegedly Attacks Co-Worker
TSA spokesman Greg Soule said the agency has a zero tolerance policy for workplace violence.
"Per our normal procedures, TSA is moving quickly to act on the security officer charged with assault," Soule said. "At the same time, we are investigating to determine whether other officers may have violated procedures during a training session with coworkers and committed professional misconduct."
He added that the training was internal and at no time was anyone from the traveling public involved.
"Inappropriate comments in the work place are not acceptable and will be dealt with swiftly," Soule said. "This is an isolated incident that we take very seriously."
The full-body scanners were slowly phased into airport security at several locations across the country in 2008, but their use expanded this year after the failed Christmas day bombing attempt of a Delta flight from Amsterdam.
The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that the machines violate people's privacy.