A man has been arrested in connection with a security breach that set off an evacuation of a busy terminal at LaGuardia Airport earlier this week, officials said Thursday.
The man, identified as Phani Kumar Varanasi, voluntarily turned himself in after authorities tracked him down at his brother's home in Secaucus, New Jersey. Varanasi, who lives in India but flew in from Detroit, told police that he was "confused about where he was supposed to pick up his luggage," according to a Port Authority spokesperson.
Surveillance video from the scene allegedly shows Varanasi leisurely strolling past a TSA agent stationed at a security checkpoint. Varanasi then spent 5 minutes in the "sterile area" before returning the way he came, the Port Authority representative said. The breach trigged a full evacuation of LaGuardia's Terminal B, though "nothing dangerous" was found in the sweep, according to a TSA statement.
The TSA also noted that "appropriate action will be taken" against their employee, but did not divulge further specifics.
Following the incident, Long Island Congressman Peter King demanded a full explanation for the breach, which he called "extremely serious."
"It could have been an incidental mistake, but we have zero margin of error at this time" King said. "We saw what happened in Manchester and other incidents around the world; we just can't let our guard down."
Varanasi was charged late last night with criminal trespassing. He is expected to appear in a Queens court on Thursday afternoon.