Rochester airport security worker fired after passing mean note to traveler

Local News

Bizarre exchange captured on airport security cameras

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A bizarre story from the Greater Rochester International Airport: A security worker was caught on tape passing a note with a mean message to a traveler. As a result, she lost her job.

That traveler, Neal Strassner, said the worker gave him a note as he was passing through the security checkpoint. After he passed through he began walking away and heard the worker yell back at him “You going to open the note?”

At that point, Neal says he opened the note, which said “You ugly!!!” and the employee began bursting out in laughter, which you can see in footage from airport security cameras (above).

Neal says video this late June incident was obtained by him through a Freedom of Information request he processed, and added that it took more than a month for him to get access to the video.

The airport worker was not an official employee of TSA or the Rochester airport, but rather an employee of VMD Corp., a Virginia-based security company. In airports throughout the country, TSA hires independent security companies through a Screening Partnership Program.

VMD Corp. did not immediately return a request for comment, but TSA officials did confirm the employee had been terminated after they investigated the incident. TSA officials sent this statement to News 8:

“TSA holds contractors to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for this type of behavior. This instance, which involved a contract employee, was investigated immediately upon receiving the complaint by the traveler. The employee has since been terminated by the contractor.”

At the end of the video above, you can see the airport worker reaching back to where she originally pulled her note from, and begin writing another one. No word yet if she passed any other mean notes to travelers to pass the time during her work shift, but Neal is curious if anyone else has had a similar experience coming through the Rochester airport.

In an email to News 8 Neal said:

“I’m really curious what the other notes said. I travel a lot and the airport normally is spectacular. This was a totally weird event that they [VMD Corp.] seemed to handle properly. I travel a lot and just want to make sure they get some credit to their organization and don’t let one lady trash their whole reputation.”

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