by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
A TSA agent is facing aggravated assault charges after police say he slashed another worker with a box cutter over a sports bet.
TSA agent Paul Johnson is charged with aggravated assault after the fight with another worker, Terry Vickers, at Hartsfield-Jackson’s International terminal on Saturday. Vickers was also arrested on simple battery charges as a result of the fight.
“[It was] a friendly wager, a little basketball game,” Vickers told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.
Vickers, who works at the airport with Johnson, says the altercation started when Vickers went to go collect on a bet over a basketball game Saturday morning.
“He’s getting loud, I’m getting a little loud, and next thing I know he is reaching for his pocket for a knife,” Vickers said.
Atlanta police say it was a box cutter that Johnson pulled out of his pocket. According to a TSA spokesperson, Johnson is tasked with screening checked baggage and is authorized to have the box cutter.
Vickers received minor injuries on his face from the box cutter, according to Atlanta Police. In the police report, Johnson claims Vickers was the first one to make physical contact. Atlanta police say Vickers entered an area he was not authorized to be in order to collect the debt. Vickers disagrees.
“I shoved him after he swung the blade at me, and this other guy from TSA grabbed him, and I took off in fear of my life,” Vickers said.
Both parties surrendered their security badges. A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration says Paul Johnson is on indefinite unpaid suspension, pending a full investigation.
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