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In Hawaii, California cop spends spring break becoming a hero

April 05, 2013|By Michael Muskal

There are a lot of places and interesting things to do on spring break. But an off-duty California police officer capped off his vacation by becoming a hero.

Cpl. Justin Rogers of the Pinole Police Department was on vacation in Hawaii and had just removed his shoes to go through security at Honolulu International Airport when he saw a woman hitting a female officer of the Transportation Security Administration, according to the security video of the March 30 event.

Rogers, a six-year veteran of the Pinole Police Department in Contra Costa County, is seen leaping over the small barrier and wrestling the suspect to the ground. He is handed a pair of handcuffs and restrains the suspect.

“TSA is grateful for the selfless and decisive actions of off-duty Pinole, Calif., Police Officer Justin Rogers for coming to the aid of a TSA officer who was assaulted by a member of the public,” the agency said in a prepared statement. “Officer Rogers witnessed the attack and immediately subdued the aggressor, preventing further injury to the TSA officer. His actions, coupled with the quick response by airport security, ensured that the integrity of the airport’s sterile area was maintained, minimizing disruptions to the traveling public.

“Mahalo, Officer Rogers! TSA joins the citizens of Pinole in saluting your heroic actions,” the agency said.

Rogers was appropriately humble.

“Police officer or not, the woman was being assaulted," Rogers told NBC Bay Area. "She was defenseless. Had her arms up, trying to defend herself and somebody really needed to help her, and luckily I was close enough to be able to help."

The suspect was described as a homeless woman who was charged with assault and who was taken to a local hospital’s mental unit, treated and released on her own recognizance.

The TSA officer sustained minor injuries.

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