(Hadn't seen this here before)
Pacific Wings owner says crew left Maui in fear after dispute with guards
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 12:10 PM
KAHULUI – The owners and two pilots of Pacific Wings have fled Maui, saying they don’t feel safe following an incident Thursday in which they were arrested and allegedly beaten by Wackenhut guards at Kahului Airport.
As of Tuesday night, no police authority was investigating their charges of assault, which Pacific Wings President Greg Kahlstorf characterized as “abductions.”
Kahlstorf said his employees didn’t want anything to do with the police after seeing their boss and associates arrested, handcuffed and allegedly beaten by guards.
He alleged that Maui police are covering up the actions of the Wackenhut guards, some of them former police officers. He said officers did little investigating of his charges Thursday and were not cooperative when he tried to file a criminal complaint against the Wackenhut guards. He said his partner, Frank Ford, and two pilots, Roman Sarkissian and Will Goshorn, have left for the Mainland. He has left Maui.
Editorial: Incident more than a scuffle
Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:19 PM
An incident at Kahului Airport last week – as related by the alleged victim since airport officials aren’t talking – may be indicative of a more encompassing problem involving security guards hired by a Mainland company under contract with the state.
The Airports Division of the state Department of Transportation contracts airport security to Wackenhut Corp. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. That puts the local security personnel a long way from any supervision from their company or the state.
Anecdotal evidence indicates the security guards at Kahului Airport take their jobs very seriously, perhaps too seriously. As the main gateway in and out of Maui, personnel at the airport not only come in contact with tourists but local residents.
The Maui News has received letters from individuals who felt harassed and unduly ordered about by security guards. A call was made to the newspaper Wednesday morning from a resident who said he was glad someone was standing up to the guards. “I don’t have problems with them, I just let them push me around,” the caller said.
Guard accused of threatening airline employee
Monday, November 14, 2005 12:50 PM
KAHULUI – A Wackenhut security guard was charged with terroristic threatening Sunday morning after he allegedly verbally threatened a Pacific Wings Airlines employee at Kahului Airport, police said.
Pacific Wings charges dropped
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 12:29 PM
...Since the October confrontation, the controversy has ratcheted up to another level.
On Nov. 13, a Wackenhut guard tried to cite a Pacific Wings pilot for parking in a loading zone. As the pilot videotaped a lengthy confrontation, another Wackenhut guard spat on and threatened him.
That guard, Eric Brown, was charged by Maui police with second-degree terroristic threatening and was suspended from working at state facilities. Wackenhut provides security at state airports.
Brown’s court date is next month.
Kahlstorf has claimed that Pacific Wings has had trouble with the conduct of Wackenhut guards for years – but until the Oct. 20 incident, the airline had faced only citations that were later dismissed and ill feeling.
On Oct. 20, Sarkissian was cited for being in the restricted operating area. Kahlstorf, unable to get any information about it or even where Sarkissian was being held by Wackenhut, demanded a meeting with airport and Wackenhut managers.
At that meeting, Wackenhut airport supervisor Robert “Butch” Tam Ho arrested and handcuffed Kahlstorf, citing him for harassment; and allegedly punched Goshorn.