A passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport says she was accosted Tuesday night by a barefoot homeless man who threatened to kill her.
Deborah Schwan, a retired teacher from Midlothian and a frequent flier, said she was walking through Terminal A after returning from a trip to California when she heard the man shouting and notified airport workers.
“He was screaming vulgarities in a very angry voice,” she said.
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The man then approached her as she tried to walk out of the terminal, she said.
"I tried not to make eye contact but he got real close to me and he said, 'I heard what you said, bitch. I'm going to f'ing kill you,'" she said in an interview Wednesday. "I was scared to death because I was by myself."
Schwan said she reported the incident to airport police and to American Airlines, which responded by saying security is the airport's responsibility.
On recent cold nights, dozens of homeless people have been camping out in Terminal A, close to a DART station connecting the airport to Dallas.
DFW Airport didn't respond directly to questions Tuesday night about what happened or how many other complaints from passengers they've received. Instead, the airport issued a short statement acknowledging the homeless problem and saying officials are trying to minimize any disruptions for passengers. The airport also said it’s working with "community partners" to find ways to relocate the homeless.
But on Wednesday night, dozens of homeless again lined the hallways sleeping.
"I haven't heard any complaints about us, not yet," Lee Horn said as she covered up with blankets on the airport floor. Horn, 40, said she was spending her fourth night there.
Homeless people are attracted to the airport because it's warm, safe, and always open, Horn said. Horn said nobody has encouraged her to go anywhere else. In fact, she said the airport seems to welcome the homeless.
"I'm grateful to the police for letting us come out here and stuff,” she said.
Schwan said she has compassion for those without a home and didn’t want to file charges against the man who accosted her.
"They do need to come in out of the cold,” she said. “But the airport needs to take care of passengers who are paying for that service."
On Thursday, officials at the airport replied with the following comment:
"DFW Airport has experienced an increase in homeless population seeking shelter on airport property during the seasonal cold weather in North Texas. The airport is working to minimize disruptions to customers and employees. We have engaged community partners to identify solutions that extend support in relocating the homeless. You also can call or text our Customer Care line at 972-236-4968 if you have questions or need assistance."