From Florida Today:
Co-worker: Omar Mateen homophobic, ‘unhinged’
Anthony Westbury, Nicole Rodriguez, Elliot Jones, USA
TODAY Network – Florida 7:20 p.m. EDT June 12, 2016
A former Fort Pierce police officer who once worked with 29-year-old Omar Mateen, the assailant in an Orlando nightclub shooting that left at least 50 dead, said he was “unhinged and unstable.”
Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.
Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.
“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”
Gilroy said this shooting didn’t come as a surprise to him.
Similarly, during the second presidential debate in 2000, George W. Bush denounced ethnic profiling at airports of Arab passengers. When he became President, he had Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta launch a campaign against heightened scrutiny of terrorist-looking passengers. A ticket agent told Oprah Winfrey:
Michael Tuohey was going to work like he had for 37 years, but little did he know that this day would change his life forever. On September 11, 2001, Tuohey, a ticket agent for U.S. Airways, checked in terrorist Mohammed Atta for a flight that started a chain of events that would change history.
Tuohey was working the U.S. Airways first-class check-in desk when two men, Atta and his companion Abdul Azziz-Alomari, approached his counter. From all outward appearances, the men seemed to be normal businessmen, but Tuohey felt something was wrong.
“I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap…I thought, ‘My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.’”
Tuohey also told David Hench of the Portland Press Herald:
Then his eyes locked on Atta.
“It just sent chills through you. You see his picture in the paper (now). You see more life in that picture than there is in flesh and blood,” Tuohey said.
Then Tuohey went through an internal debate that still haunts him.”I said to myself, ‘If this guy doesn’t look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.’ Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this,” he said.
“You’ve checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you’ve never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed.”
It wasn’t just Atta’s demeanor that caught Tuohey’s attention.”When I looked at their tickets, they had first-class, one-way tickets – $2,500 tickets. Very unusual,” he said. “I guess they’re not coming back. Maybe this is the end of their trip.”
Indeed, they weren’t coming back.