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Passengers Who Assault TSA Officers Still Allowed To Board Planes

BOSTON (CBS) - There have been plenty of passenger complaints over some of the security measures in place at airports to prevent terrorist attacks.

Well, this time, it's TSA workers who say they're being abused at Logan Airport and elsewhere. Despite Many passengers accused in those attacks are still being allowed to board their flights.

WBZ-TV's Paul Burton reports

Transportation Security Officers say their job has never been easy but now it's becoming unsafe. They want the TSA to step up and protect them from angry passengers who are verbally and physically assaulting them, yet still being allowed to fly.

On Wednesday at Logan Airport, an organizer of the American Federation of Government Employees talked about one recent incident where a woman was attacked while screening a passenger. "She was punched in the shoulder three times," said A.J. Castilla. "All she was doing was her job."

Police let that passenger go because the incident was not caught on tape. That passenger was allowed to board a plane.

Workers say this was hardly a secluded incident. TSA workers say, in the past year, they've been punched, screamed at, thrown to the ground and spit on. At one airport in Indiana, a t-s-a officer was actually head-butted.

"I do get verbally assaulted quite constantly," Patrick Mannion, a TSO union representative told WBZ-TV. "I'm just trying to do my job."

The TSO has sent a letter to the TSA requesting that any passenger who is verbally abusive or violent on officers should be banned from flying for the day.

The TSA acknowledges the problem but has not indicated whether it plans to change things. "The airport is a high stress environment and, all too often, travelers unfairly take their frustrations out on TSA's security officers," the government agency said in a statement.

The union says their main concern is that these attacks stop and their workers are protected.

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