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Man who allegedly posed as airport screener is Bay Area businessman

CrimeLaw EnforcementSecurity MeasuresTransportation Security Administration
Bay Area businessman is suspected of patting down women in private area while posing as security screener

A man suspected of posing as an airport security screener and pulling aside female passengers for pat-down searches has been identified as a 53-year-old San Francisco executive.

Eric Slighton, 53, was arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after San Francisco police reported to the airport for a disturbance at an area near a private screening room at a security checkpoint, said San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt.

Slighton identified himself as being a resident of both Hong Kong and San Francisco.

Hong Kong-based Aktis Hanxi Group lists an Eric Slighton as a director for the investment and private equity company.

According to the company's website, he worked at a San Francisco-based e-commerce company and Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. The firm could not be reached for comment.

Authorities would not confirm that his arrest was linked to an incident in which somebody posed as a security screener. But Rosenblatt said investigators were looking into that allegation.

Slighton is suspected of directing two women in the International Terminal to a private screening area used for random pat-down searches of airline passengers.

Bay Area news accounts state that the incident began when a man entered the security checkpoint wearing khaki pants, a blue polo shirt and blue rubber gloves -- the type of clothes worn by screeners from Covenant, a private security firm that works with the Transportation Security Administration at the airport.

Investigators have identified the women who were directed into a private screening room, but are trying determine their flight schedules, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

TSA officials declined to comment, except to say the agency "is aware of the alleged incident and is cooperating with law enforcement."

They added that the incident did not involve a TSA or a Covenant employee.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

Staff writer Dan Weikel contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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