Florida Keys

Airline worker shoved a deputy after losing security access, police say

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

An airline worker at Key West International Airport was jailed after police said he shoved a deputy in anger after losing security access due to a prior mistake.

Angel Arley Mederos, 42, of Key West, was arrested on charges of felony battery on an officer and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

He was booked into the Stock Island Detention Center and released the next morning without having to post a bond.

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Mederos, whose Facebook page says he has worked for American Airlines since 2013, was told by Monroe sheriff’s Deputy Vince Pacifica that he needed to surrender his Secured Identification Display Area badge.

Police said the badges are for employees or law enforcement who are allowed in certain secured areas of the airport, as designated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a previous incident, Mederos had reportedly allowed screened airport passengers back into an area open to the public, police said.

Pacifica found Mederos in the departure terminal office and explained the situation.

Mederos became angry, refused to comply and shoved Pacifica as he walked out into the public area of the terminal, police said.

“Deputy Pacifica was forced to restrain and handcuff Mederos in public view,” said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Mederos defended himself on his Facebook page, denying he picked a fight with the deputy and saying Pacifica has “an ego issue” and wanted to prove he had power.

“Our word against theirs and the law enforcement officer is always right,” Mederos wrote. “He should not be representing that badge or uniform. I have never had any issue or trouble with law. Not even a speeding ticket. I was treated like I was a animal; a common criminal. I guess we should start wearing body cameras on us all the time to prove our innocence.”

American Airlines released this statement on Mederos:

“Angel Mederos is employed at Key West International airport by Envoy Air,” said Nancy Kalin. “He has been withheld from service pending the results of the investigation and Envoy is cooperating fully with law enforcement.”

Envoy is the largest regional carrier for American.