Dallas Screener Won't Have to Face Assault Charges

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DALLAS (AP) - A federal judge says a Dallas Love Field security screener accused of assaulting a subordinate at work can't be prosecuted.

The Justice Department intervened in the case against acting screening manager James Smith as it was set to go to municipal court. The government contended the 62-year-old Smith was immune from prosecution because the February incident happened "in the scope of his employment."

Transportation Security Administration screener Julia Blackburn had pressed charges against Smith over a February incident.

The 60-year-old Blackburn alleges Smith grabbed her, spun her around and got face-to-face with her.

Smith had been called to quell a confrontation with a passenger and security. And Blackburn says she had been trying to explain to Smith what happened.

Smith said that he did put his hand on Blackburn's arm but didn't intend to hurt her.