Airport employee charged for stealing child's wallet
FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Fla. (WSVN) -- An airline employee has been charged after taking an 11-year-old boy's wallet while he flew alone to New York.
Andre Deshong flies every summer to New York alone to visit his grandmother. "Ultra excited. He looks forward to it every year," said his father Kamal Deshong.
On Aug. 7, the 11-year-old went with his father to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Jet Blue gave Andre a lanyard pouch to hold his boarding pass and ID. Andre's dad put his wallet along with the $200 inside the pouch. "We gave him $200 cash in his wallet, along with his ID," said Deshong.
Deshong said, by the time Andre boarded the plane, his $200 went missing. "It had to be right after they closed the door to go down the ramp, coz that's the last time I gave him a hug and a kiss," he said. "And then she took him behind the door then they walked down the ramp to the plane, so it had to be within that time frame."
Andre landed at JFK in New York and knew something was wrong when no one handed him back his wallet. "The lady who escorted him down to the airline took his pouch and he tried to let her know, 'Hey, my wallet was in there,' but then she just rushed him off into the plane," said Deshong.
According to Broward detectives, a gate agent, 33-year-old Marsha Henry was responsible for stealing Andre's money. "By looking at the video from the airport we were able to identify a suspect in this case," said Broward Sheriff's Office spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.
Carmen Ireland, who lives with Henry cannot believe the allegations. "She doesn't get in trouble. She's like a daughter to me. Why would they say she stole money? Why? Why?" said Ireland.
Jet Blue suspended Henry and will refund the money back to Deshong. "Jet Blue contacted me, and they refunded $100 that we paid them for the unaccompanied minor, and they are in the process to cut us a check to send us the money back," said Deshong.
Deshong hopes is incident does not happen to anyone. "My major concern is how many kids fly unaccompanied every year with different airlines, and who knows how many have been taken advantage of," he said.
Henry has been charged with petty theft and has been suspended.
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