ATLANTA - There are more problems with homeless people at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport. They do not have tickets or anywhere to go, but they are making themselves at home at the airport. Now the problem has escalated and police had to stun a man who refused to leave.
Police said the majority of the homeless comply when the Atlanta officers ask them to move along, but it only takes one to create a bad incident. That is what happened Monday morning inside the atrium during the commuter rush.
Nightly, people hang out at the airport with no intention of boarding a flight or meeting a passenger. Airport officers make the rounds in the atrium in the morning. It is the wake-up call, usually there is no violence, but now some have made it a problem for officers.
“It’s daily. Get them to come in, every time we get calls on them. You do your job, but when they right in your face, and you can't say anything to them. Then two days later they're back,” said Sgt. Warren Pickard.
Sgt. Pickard said one man, believed to be homeless, became hostile when police told him to leave. He started kicking chairs and came after the officer. A female officer came up and used a stun gun on that man. Another worker, who did not want to be identified, described the situation as “uncomfortable.”
“It’s kind of dangerous a little bit because we’re in the atrium, and I remember another incident, like they might have a weapon or something,” said the worker.
Atlanta’s police union said they certainly believe that city officials need to take this homeless situation at the airport a little more seriously than they are right now. They are talking about solutions to the problem because while this incident ended without any passengers or the officers getting injured, the next one may not.