Woman files suit over airport incident

July 10, 2008 4:41:41 PM PDT
Police in Washington threw a New York woman to the ground and then arrested her at an airport security checkpoint. Was the force justified? She says absolutely not, and has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the officers involved.Robin Kassner says she blacked out and doesn't remember much about her February 2007 encounter with airport police, but security cameras captured the whole incident.

What is still not clear is how did a routine bag search escalate into what looks like a bar brawl?

"I realize, oh my God, I'm being beat up," Kassner said, narrating the surveillance video.

Kassner, a marketing executive, says she was pulled out of the security line at Reagan National Airport when screeners told her her contact lens solution didn't meet the liquid ban requirement.

As a TSA employee searched Kassner's bag, Washington D.C. airport police arrived and appeared to motion to her to step away from the bag. She turns her back, and that's when things get ugly.

Two officers are seen dragging Kassner away from her suitcase before they throw her to the ground.

"I was begging them over and over to get off me, and they wouldn't stop," she said.

Fifteen seconds later, police lifted Kassner to her feet and shoved her into a nearby table. It is unclear what she said next, but there were three officers involved at that point. One man can be seen taking his elbow and slamming her head onto the table.

"I suffered a concussion as a result of that, and I've had memory problems," she said.

Kassner says it felt like her arm was breaking as the three officers put her in handcuffs. And then, two minutes after it all began, she is led away.

A spokesman from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says that Kassner, "was interfering with the screening process and refusing to follow security procedures."

Kassner was arrested, taken to a Virginia jail and charged with obstruction of justice.

To watch the full video, CLICK HERE.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jen Maxfield