Flier Who Refused Scan Threatened With $10K Fine
Libertarian says TSA tried to stop him from leaving airport
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2010 4:46 AM CST
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(Newser) – What happens if you refuse both a full-body scan and the alternative grabby pat-down the Transportation Safety Administration demands? One libertarian blogger trying to fly through San Diego was not only barred from boarding his flight, he was threatened with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine, Gawker reports. The blogger, "Johnny Edge," says he was pulled out of line and asked to go through a backscatter X-ray machine. He refused and was told he'd therefore have to be patted down, to which he replied, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested."

He was informed that the patdown did involve "running hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin." He offered to go through the metal detectors and stressed to TSA officials that the airport wasn't listed as one using Advanced Imaging Technology. Things got messy, with several agents, a security manager, and a supervisor arriving on the scene. After eventually being barred from the flight, getting a refund on his ticket, and leaving the secure area, he says officials tried to stop him from leaving the airport and told him he "could be sued civilly and face a $10,000 fine and that my cooperation could help mitigate the penalties I was facing." Click here for his full story, and here for another airport mess ... involving a three-year-old.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
SodWhite
Nov 16, 2010 7:31 PM CST
All this screening hoopla is little more than a hollow security theatre, it does little to make anyone any safer and causes more disruption and malcontent than is necessary. It's already an enormous hassle to even get through the airport, let alone being fondled by faux-cops. I'm left wondering if it's all just a rouse to keep people from flying, to reduce our imaginary "carbon footprint". Because if it is, Al Gore is probably getting rich right now. Yes, I brought up Al Gore, hard to avoid these days, I know. And now they've PROBED a three-year-old child?
babyboomer1001
Nov 15, 2010 11:36 PM CST
I wouldn't care to have my junk touched either. It is going way too far. They can continue to use the wand in those areas. The naked scanners are unnecessarily invasive and the pat down that feels the junk is unnecessarily invasive and embarrassing. Your friends and family members behind you and strangers, perhaps a co-worker or your employer can watch the scanner & see you naked as you go through and my body is my business. What ever happened to PERSONAL SPACE? Nobody has the right to touch my body. We teach our children this and then we take them on a trip and they are strip searched? What sort of a message does that tell the child - and mommy allowed it. Horrible and confusing for a child and a miserable experience for an adult. If somebody blows up an airline, I would suspect a U.S. citizen, fed up with the nonsense. Use a non-naked non-invasive scanner and the pat downs that they have always done. Inner thighs even - absolutely not. I really don't want to fly anymore and my husband and I used to do a lot of traveling. Lately, we've decided to travel the old fashioned way - by road, can, van, RV, any way except by air. I'm sickened hearing the stories of how abusive the airlines have gotten. The last time I flew, I was disgusted. Ironically, the man in the seat beside me got through with a knife and fork in his carry on. He showed me the knife and fork. He was testing them himself just to see if he could get through with a knife. These morons miss a knife and fork in a bag which could be used to stab somebody, yet they get fresh assaulting people's private parts. I'm disgusted.
Sara
Nov 15, 2010 4:05 PM CST
Sounds as though this person has "better Junk" or less, than everyone else. If we want our country to be safe from further attacks we have to put up with being searched if deemed necessary, but I do think those employees do need diversity and sensitivity training.