This image provided by the Nashville Police Department shows Adam Bartsch after he was arrested Thursday Oct. 17, 2013. The federal air marshal has been arrested and accused of taking cell phone photographs underneath women's skirts as they boarded a plane at Nashville International Airport. Bartsch was on duty on Southwest Airline Flight 3132 on Thursday when a witness noticed he was taking the photos and grabbed his cell phone. (AP Photot/Nashville Police Department)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A federal air marshal was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly took cell phone photographs up passengers' skirts.
According to a police affidavit, a witness grabbed Adam Bartsch's cell phone after seeing him take the inappropriate photos and notified a flight attendant.
Witness Rey Collazo told News 2 exclusively he first saw Bartsch, who he did not know was an on-duty air marshal, taking photographs while boarding the plane.
"I just reached over with my left hand and grabbed it, struggled with him a little bit and I got the better part of the phone and twisted and hit him with my right hand between the neck and the shoulder. Shoved him back and I took the phone," Collazo said.
He added, "I looked at the guy and said, 'Excuse me, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. A disgrace to a human being. To a man. That's wrong.'"
Bartsch was removed from Southwest flight number 3132 and taken into police custody after he admitted to taking 10 to 12 pictures underneath women's skirts.
Authorities said the 28-year-old man said he had taken similar photos more than a dozen times in the past.
In a statement late Thursday afternoon, the Transportation Security Administration said, "TSA does not tolerate criminal behavior. The agency immediately removed this individual from his current duties and is in the process of suspending or terminating his employment. TSA continues to assist with the investigation."
Officials from Southwest Airlines added in a statement which read, in part, "We turned the matter over to local law enforcement and the passenger did not travel as scheduled. The rest of the passengers and crew continued on to Tampa as scheduled."
Bartsch is charged with unlawful photography. He was released on a $10,000 bond just after 9:30 p.m.
Upon his release, which News 2 captured, Bartsch went running past our cameras and declined to answer any questions regarding the incident.
He and his wife currently live in Maryland, where neighbors said they were shocked to learn of his arrest.
"He seemed like a nice guy. Everytime I saw him he looked real calm. We'd briefly talk and that was it," one neighbor stated.
Bartsch is due in court November 14.
News 2 learned Friday morning he stayed in Nashville overnight. There is no word on when he will return to Maryland.