Veteran's wife: PTSD behind airport outburst
TARPON SPRINGS (FOX 13) - One day after a man was arrested for a disturbing, expletive-filled tantrum at Tampa International Airport, his wife is coming to his defense.
"I wish everybody could understand a little bit more what veterans go through every day," said Carmen Rodriguez.
A video recorded Wednesday shows her husband yelling and pulling his pants down in front of gate A-12 where he was waiting to board his Jet Blue flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Police officers tried to calm him down, but the encounter became violent and physical, with Ralph Rodriguez-Hernandez kicking an officer as they tried to restrain him.
Rodriguez-Hernandez's wife, who was at home with their three children while her husband prepared to board a plane, said there's more to this story than meets the eye.
"He has had a few episodes before," said Rodriguez, "but I was there."
According to Rodriguez, her husband served in the military for 16 years and retired less than a year ago.
After six deployments to the Middle East, he was diagnosed with PTSD.
"I feel so much pain just knowing that he went through that," said Rodriguez. "It's just too much."
Rodriguez believes her husband's breakdown Wednesday was caused by his PTSD.
She hopes people who see the video consider his condition before making an opinion.
"Just have a little understanding, a little more compassion," she said.