Family of man involved in airport security breach wants answers surrounding his death

Charles Kosi (Photo courtesy Tuzon family)

A member of the family of the man who illegally entered onto an airport tarmac and later died Saturday spoke to KHON2 Sunday.

Officials say the unarmed man forced his way through at the Island Air commuter terminal at the Honolulu International Airport early Saturday morning. The state Department of Transportation says the suspect was combative, but after security was able to restrain him, the suspect became unresponsive and later died at the hospital.

The suspect’s family confirms it was 48-year-old Charles Kosi.

In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Kosi’s younger brother Ryan Tuzon, who lives on Maui with the rest of the family.

Tuzon says he and his family are frustrated because they have not been given many details on what happened Saturday morning and how Kosi died.

“I’m not blaming anybody for this,” Tuzon said. “I know my brother was wrong for what he did, going through security and stuff, but our family has more questions than answers, you know?”

While the cause of death has not been released by the Honolulu Medical Examiner yet — an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday — Charles Kosi’s family is trying to piece together information.

Tuzon says his brother suffered from a heart condition and had heart surgery in the past. During the struggle on the tarmac Saturday morning, he wonders if Kosi “say he can’t breathe? Did he say he had heart problems? We just want to know what the police did.”

“I’m not saying they did a bad job. I’m not saying they did a good job. We just want answers and answers is the one thing we are not getting.”

Tuzon says his brother has been in and out of prison and had a drug problem.

We looked at Kosi’s criminal record which showed he had 35 charges between 1989 to 2003, including some felonies on assault and escape.

Before Saturday’s incident at the airport, Tuzon says his brother was supposed to be at a drug rehabilitation facility on Oahu. “He left,” he said. “He’s not supposed to leave. We want to know how he left.”

Tuzon says his brother lived a hard life growing up on Maui, but Charles Kosi loved his family. “He was trying to return home to his family.”

Kosi’s mother and sister have flown to Oahu from Maui to get more answers. We’ll have more on this developing story in the days ahead.

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