GIAA board gets update on Lomibao inquiry - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GIAA board gets update on Lomibao inquiry

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Guam International Airport Authority's board of directors finally got a chance to hear from management what exactly happened that caused a student from the Guam Community College to be injured while volunteering to participate in the airport's federally mandated triennial disaster drill.  

Jimmy Lomibao was there to play the role of an agitated passenger but ended up leaving with a one-way ticket to the Guam Memorial Hospital. Board member Mike Ysrael said, "Without going into any personnel matters is there anything that you can tell us about the incident, I understand a person was injured and is there anything you can tell us about his injuries or how they occurred?", with executive manager Mary Torres saying, "It's preliminary to draw conclusions at this time and I want to point out that there is an ongoing concurrent independent investigation being conducted by the Guam police department."

Lomibao alleges he was assaulted by airport police. He was treated for a broken nose, broken clavicle and several bruises. After being released from GMH Lomibao filed an assault complaint with the Guam Police Department, this while the airport was conducting its own.  Torres told the airport board during their meeting Thursday that more than 60 participants in last month's disaster drill were interviewed and proceeded to provide an account of what led to Lomibao's injuries.

Although she could not release too many details of the investigation that is ongoing, Torres does admit the officers use the correct level of force that they were trained to do. "Upon my preliminary review I can say that it appears that the level of force that our officer performed is consistent with the use of force continuum that they are trained to perform by the police academy in their line of duty. It also appears from my initial review of the report that the participant was apprehended by our police officer after repeated orders to stop were ignored by the participant. And it appears also that the injuries the participant sustained were during the apprehension phase," she said.

Although the airport is not releasing the investigation report, a press released issued Monday stated Lomibao's injuries were unfortunate and "the result of an aberration from the planned exercise, and that the airport is taking the allegations against its employees very seriously." But like the release, Torres wouldn't much else to the board, saying, "We did initiate an administrative investigation in connection with alleged personnel wrong doings and in so far as the aspect of the personnel matters are concerned it is also an ongoing matter and I cant discuss what action I may take on employees."

Lomibao in the meantime has hired an attorney and has requested for a copy of the investigation report, which has been denied by the airport.

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