D/FW AIRPORT – The man who was able to board a flight at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sunday after leaving his vehicle unattended at the terminal curb and getting through security without an ID told authorities he "walked" when asked how he bypassed the checkpoint.
According to a DFW Airport Department of Public Safety report, three officers were dispatched to Gate 17 in Terminal D Sunday because a man had run onto an American Airlines plane and refused to get off. When the officers arrived, the man, Damarias Cockerham, 25, was already off the plane, American Airlines Flight 1013 to Guatemala City, Guatemala. They located the suspect and began interviewing him.
Cockerham began crying and would not answer questions, police said. When he didn't answer questions about where his ticket or ID were, he was brought back to the public side of the airport. Officers searched him there and found car keys and a phone, but no ticket or ID.
When asked how he got through without a ticket or ID, Cockerham said, "I walked." Authorities found Cockerham had indeed walked through the TSA checkpoint at Gate D18, Lane 1 without being stopped by an agent.
When later asked why he had sneaked onto the plane, the suspect told officers "he didn't want his girlfriend going down there and being with the wrong guy," according to the DFW DPS report.
Cockerham was charged with criminal trespass.
His vehicle was found on the curb outside Terminal D, and after a sweep of the car, it was found no explosive devices were present.
The TSA released this statement about the incident Monday:
"TSA is reviewing the incident and is working closely with the airport, local law enforcement and stakeholders to ensure that all of our checkpoints at DFW reflect optimal security configurations. Immediately following this incident, TSA made adjustments to the DFW screening area and has added more barriers, and is working to identify other long-term solutions that may require physical adjustments to the area. As always, TSA continually evaluates checkpoint configurations and passenger flows at all our airports to ensure physical security."