Man Strips Down For TSA, Told He Still Needed To Be Groped; Arrested For Failing To Complete Security Process

from the grope-grope-grope dept

The TSA stories are coming fast and furious these days. The latest takes place (yet again) at the San Diego airport, where a guy first refused to go through the naked image scanner, and when he was told he had to be patted down stripped down to his bicycle underwear, which (as he noted) “left nothing to the imagination.” His argument was that at that point, he shouldn’t need a pat down, but the TSA ordered him to put his clothes back on so he could be patted down. He argued that they could just go through his clothes. End result? Guy in underwear gets arrested, handcuffed, and escorted through the airport in his underwear — and is being charged with the same thing that the “don’t touch my junk” guy was threatened with: “failing to complete the security process.” Feeling safer?

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Comments on “Man Strips Down For TSA, Told He Still Needed To Be Groped; Arrested For Failing To Complete Security Process”

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Ashlar says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not videotaping police

I think it’s a little different than that. It’s more of “video taping the security procedures” that’s illegal in this case.

I can’t provide any links or actual stories but I’ve read articles (possibly on this site) about how it’s illegal to record SOUND of the police. Just video taping would be ok, but as soon as they find out you’re getting audio too that’s when they get REALLY upset.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not videotaping police

> I think it’s a little different than that. It’s more of “video taping the
> security procedures” that’s illegal in this case.

Under federal law, if you’re legally allowed to be where you are, you can photograph what you can see.

If the Secret Service can’t stop people from taking pictures of their equipment and procedures in public, the TSA sure can’t.

TheStupidOne says:


I have to fly out of San Diego tomorrow and that was my plan, though I was going to strip completely naked to avoid the backscatter scanner. While I’d rather not be seen naked by those people, it does make a pretty good protest and it is hard to say I’m trying to hide anything if I’m 100% naked. I may still do it, but my girlfriend will likely kill me if I don’t make my flight, so i just hope I’m not selected.

someone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Well....

“But there HAS to be a creative way to fake an orgasm and get what looks to be some man chowder on whoever is groping me.”

Not exactly an ideal way, but I do have A way:

1. Bring extra pants and underwear in carry on
2. Drink lots of water and beans
3. As they rub your nuts, relieve the pressure in your bladder and act like you had an orgasm.
4. as they grab your rear, let the beans erupt and state “Sorry, I should not have had that last burito”
5. Thank them for their “service” that left you feeling “wonderful”
6. Change in the bathroom, then board your plane.

Anonymous Coward says:

With things the way they are, I will travel by any means but never, ever, will I pay to fly and go through this hassle. It’s not worth it to pay for such treatment.

Nor is it worth it, even if the flight were free.

This is a violation of my rights and I will not submit to such a search.

Understand that I have no desire to bomb or in any way threaten anyone that would fly. I have little or no patience for those that would set up banana republics, wherever they are found.

With the government supporting these actions I am left with one thought…

When will the national flag be changed and when will the national symbol become the banana?

V says:

It is time...

Perhaps it is time to use the 2nd amendment the way it was intended by our founders…

The right to bear arms was given to us so that if the government ever turned against its people, the people would have the means to rise up, overthrough the corrupt government and establish a new one.

If our founding fathers were with us today, the government would have been overthrown by now. Sadly, we have become compliant sheep who have slowly and methodically given away our individual rights – in the name of fear, the name of laziness and in the name of hedonism.

What will it take to awake the slumbering sheep and make them aware that the sherpherd they’ve been so blindly following is actually a wolf.

Anonymous Coward says:

– Take viagra before boarding, the bonner last for hours LoL
– Don’t clean your crotch area for at least a week before boarding.

But seriously don’t travel by air, or don’t use American airline companies to travel abroad, go to Mexico and Canada.

Then they will see what good it does.

If there were train bullets in America people would have an option to bad there is nothing like that to accommodate the population.

WeTheSheeple says:

Re: Gloves

No, they do not change gloves. Worse yet, they do not change gloves before searching inside clothing, which will happen if people either decline the radioactive scanners and wear loose clothing, or if they see something suspicious in the “naked scan” image.

At least one woman reported being selected for a TSA “expanded” search because her menstrual pads showed up as suspicious. The female TSA agent put her hands INSIDE her pants, and did not change her gloves before doing so.

The potential for spreading disease this way is just horrifying.

At this point, exactly what “freedom” do we have left for terrorists to want to destroy? Our government is doing such a good job of taking away our basic rights that there’s almost nothing left to lose. Is this the civil rights version of “we had to destroy the village in order to save it?”

I fear for our future as a free nation, since so many citizens have become cowards who happily submit to tyranny. A CBS poll shows about 80% of travelers think the pat-downs and rape-i-scan machines were perfectly okay.

chris (profile) says:

Re: he was also charged with illegally filming

Please dont group these TSA fools with law enforcement, they are most certainly not. They are over paid baggie checkers and should be treated as such. We in the law enforcement community hate them and do not support them in any fashion. They are not cops, but wear a uniform and gold badges as if they are, they have no arrest authority, but again act as if they do. They are a bunch of clowns and should be resisted at every turn. If they assault you file a complainant and follow through with it. Also they are not police so they are not allowed to assault you if they do you have a right to defend yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’d rather be scanned by the device that gives off 1000x less radiation than the flight itself:

or even be groped by whoever than be on a plane with some freak with an underwear bomb. Its the price we all have to pay to be safe.

Ounce of prevention is to worth a pound of cure!

BBT says:

Re: Re: Re:

While I haven’t studied the devices, this claim does not pass the BS test. The concept of radiation being “concentrated” on the skin makes no sense. Radiation is a form of light which moves in a straight line. Generally, it passes through most things, and a percentage of it actually hits whatever it is passing through and is absorbed. There is no way to “concentrate it” on something, it will pass through that something same as it ever does.

Now, there are different types of radiation, and some are absorbed more easily than others, but that’s definitely not what is being said here.

It sounds more like someone who didn’t understand radiation thought “the machines give a picture outline of your skin, that must mean the radiation is concentrated on the skin”.

The Invisible Hand (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Your explanation does not pass the BS test either.

Take the visible spectrum. Light emitted from a lamp is harmless. Now, concentrate all that light in a tight beam, and you get a “laser” capable of melting steel (or paper at least).

What we did is focus the dispersed photons emitted by the lamp and cram a hell lot of them into a tiny space. This ensures that many many photons will hit a small surface, instead of having a few dispersed photons hitting a large area. More photons equal more energy, which equal more damage.

Not convinced? Try it yourself: Grab a magnifying glass and focus the light on a piece of paper. Just be sure to do that in a safe place, because that paper is going to catch fire right quick.

Now note that, since x-rays are (basically) the same thing as visible light, I can do the same thing with X-rays, and melt you away with an x-ray laser if I wanted. So Green Snowflake anony’s scenario is theoretically possible.

Fin ger says:

Re: Re:

John Pistole has also mentioned that there is no independent testing done to verify exactly how much radiation is coming from those machines. Everytime someone has asked the company that makes the machines to let them do analysis, the have declined the opportunity to prove how harmless they are.

So you’re right, we are exposed to microrem while in flight. But just because TSA says “They’re safe” doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

TSA employees are forbidden from wearing hospital style radiation detectors while manning these stations. I wonder why …

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What about the ass blaster? The scans and current measures will not find him and the things he carries in his explosive rear. What about the twat bomber? Should they have a proctologist and a gynecologist on hand for every person that comes through? You want to be the first to go through that kind of security?

Sean (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You’d rather be grouped than be on a plane with someone who’s going to detonate a bomb? I agree with that.

But no one has proven that the current TSA methods are effective. And even if they are effective for some methods of terrorism, they won’t be effective for others. So that groping isn’t making you safe.

On the other hand, the odds of being on a plane with someone who plans to detonate a bomb are much lower than the odds of your dieing in an automobile accident — so, I’m sure you never travel by car, right?

Jay says:

Underwear bomber

I just thought about this as I was reading about Umar…

I know that the Patriot Act has caused a Secret World to come up, where officials know the info but there’s no one pulling it all together.

As I’m seeing it, Umar’s British visa was denied while his US visa was approved. Then, to make matters worse, they (federal officials) didn’t want to deny it because it would impede on the larger investigation into Al-Qaeda.

So really, how can this be about safety…

When the government has had the knowledge but been unable to connect the dots?

Dragonish says:


If you have traveled through other countries, you know their security screenings can be quite “invasive.” Try the Philippines, Israel (or any Middle Eastern country), Kenya, …. They may not all have the scanners, but they go through your bags (without repacking) and “grope” whomever they please for as long as they please. We have so little to complain about. If you have a better idea to ensure safety, by all means, share it instead of making silly comments.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Over-reaction?

So you think checking every 10th person “ensures security”?

I can’t wait for the next story about another failed terrorist attack where the guy was tackled while trying to light the explosives hidden in his ass. Then we’ll have people like you back here in the comment section saying “If you want to be safe while flying, bend over and get anally probed like a man!”

And yes, there is a better way: profiling.

DH's Love Child (profile) says:

Re: Over-reaction?

Try the Philippines, Israel (or any Middle Eastern country), Kenya, …. They may not all have the scanners, but they go through your bags (without repacking) and “grope” whomever they please for as long as they please. We have so little to complain about. If you have a better idea to ensure safety, by all means, share it instead of making silly comments.

Well, I can’t speak for other countries, but I have flown out of Ben Gurion and did not exprience any of that. Yes, they went through my luggage but they did their best to repack things. Yes, I had a pat down, but I was never ‘groped’. Overall, they were FAR more curteous than anything I experience in my own country. In fact, I would say that I would much rather fly in and out of Israel than I would here.

Alex Hagen says:

failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01

So he was arrested under the law “failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01”

How can they hold you without a charge? Either you are under arrest and they can hold you, or you are not under arrest and should be free to go. I can’t think of any other law that forces you to submit to a procedure and prevents you from just leaving.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01

It’s a Catch 22 situation. They can’t legally hold you unless you decline to be held.

Much like is the police said “You have to right to not have your house searched without probable cause, but if you decline to let us search your house, we’ll take that as probable cause and do it anyway.”

Rights are fun!

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01

> Much like the police said “You have to right to not have your house
> searched without probable cause, but if you decline to let us
> search your house, we’ll take that as probable cause and do it anyway.”

I’d actually love it if some cop did that to me. Talk about winning the lottery. Slam dunk Section 1983 Deprivation of Civil Rights Under Color of Authority suit. Not only could I sue the department/agency he works for, I could sue him personally and take his house from him.

A warrantless search is a small price to pay for a lifetime of financial security.

out_of_the_blue says:

Examples will be made to stamp out rebellion.

My reading is that TSA is prepared to go all out to put the new level of tyranny in place, and don’t care about the cost to you, them, or airlines. So before pulling any stunts you’d better have locals who’ll bail you out of jail — and perhaps several thousand cash on hand depending how they trump up charges — or be prepared to spend time in jail.

I’m not trying to scare you, but to get you to seriously evaluate what you’re up against — because it’s not a video game with instant reset to all as before. The TSA thugs can simply *fabricate* a charge of resisting arrest, which even if doesn’t stick all the way to a trial, lands you in jail for a week while family and friends try to scrape up bail, and quite likely gets you fired from your job and otherwise ruins your life (just the arrest record will follow you forever). — And of course any actual resistance dooms you legally, besides that they may simply shoot you.

It’s easy to be a smartass while at your keyboard, but that’ll vanish when you’re in handcuffs and headed for jail. The police state holds all the cards; all you have is a hope that your fellow citizens will raise a ruckus, instead of chortling gleefully at your attempt to uphold human liberty.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Examples will be made to stamp out rebellion.

“It’s easy to be a smartass while at your keyboard, but that’ll vanish when you’re in handcuffs and headed for jail.”

That, sir, is where you are dead wrong! I vow to be a smartass all the way up to such a time as the TSA may strap me a chair and cause electricity to course through my body until I am dead. Until my final moments, I will toss witty barbs in their direction, mocking their very existence, insulting their lineage, and generally being an exceptionally clever pain in the ass.

Humor is a fine tool in highlighting evil. Something I’ve learned from my fine Jewish friends….

Eugene (profile) says:

What’s scary is that if a suicide bomber walked into one of those scanners, let it scan him/her, *THEN* set off the bomb – not only would it kill lots and lots of people, and not only would it make a mockery of the system, but it would effectively be a dirty bomb, since the blast would expose the interior of a radioactive device.

Or perhaps they will get taken out before detonating. A heroic effort, but imagine the repercussions of just a *failed* bombing attempt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I do not disagree with the scenario of simply attacking the TSA station and line of travelers waiting at it. That would seem as effective a terror tactic as attacking the plane.


The scanning machines or for that matter other X-Ray machines say at the dentist or hospital do NOT contain radioactive material. The X-Rays are generated by bombaring a metal target with a beam of high voltage electrons. This is known as “Bremsstrahlung radiation” See and scroll down to the section “X-ray tube”.

So, there would not be a dirty bomb scenario with radioactive materials being spread around.

GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Re: don't fly

Please publish your home address in a responding post.

Several of us will be by shortly to search your home, papers, computer(s), underwear drawers and your person. We may decide to seize anything of interest.

Since when is persona privacy a right?

Since when is being free from warrant-less search and seizure a right?

Either the Constitution of the Unites States is the ultimate law of the land or it isn’t There is no gray area.

Is the Constitution dead, or are you just too god-damned lazy to defend it?

someone (profile) says:

Re: don't fly

“Don’t know what all the fuss is about.”

The fuss is simple, the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND prohibits these searches.

The 4th Amendment from the Bill of Rights states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Wanting to fly on an airplane is not probable cause that someone is a terrorist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: don't fly

That would make perfect sense if SIAC had not acquired these patents:

On January 5, 2010, SAIC acquired a small company called “Spectrum San Diego” which developed a method to scan cars at high-speed using a technology called CarScan that allows for scanning cars at high speed. In addition to this semi-commercial product, SAIC acquired a number of interesting patents.

Spectrum San Diego Patents (Acquired by SAIC)
Patent: “Video Surveillance System” inventor Steven W Smith, patent 6757008 (Filed Sept 26, 2000 & Granted Jun 29, 2004)
Patent: “Automobile scanning system” inventor Steven Winn Smith, patent 7742568 (Filed Jun 8, 2008 & Granted Jun 22, 2010)
Patent Application: “Dual-mode surveillance system” inventor Steven Winn Smith, application 10/183,619 (Filed Jun 28, 2002)
Patent Application: “High-resolution radiation detector” inventor Steven Winn Smith, application 10/184,125 (Filed Jun 28, 2002)

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: don't fly

> Since when is flying a right?

I love how the government is busy blithely redefining the daily activities of our lives as “privileges” which may be revoked at their whim.

They tell us flying isn’t a right and if we don’t like it, we can take the train. Now the news tonight is telling me that security checkpoints like the ones in the airports are coming soon to a train station near you.

Don’t like it? Don’t take the train. That’s not a right, after all, is it?

So you’re left with driving anywhere you want to go. But wait! Driving is apparently also a “privilege”, which they can revoke or upon which they can impose “security” conditions. Don’t like it? Don’t drive. I guess you can ride a bike, right? ‘Cause driving isn’t a right, either.

I was in Los Angeles last week and ended up caught in a massive traffic backup on Los Feliz Boulevard, only to find out when I got to the front that it wasn’t a wreck or construction causing the problem, but a “security checkpoint”. LAPD was pulling over every driver, checking their ID and asking to “do a quick check of the vehicle”, which involved popping the trunk and glove compartment. Since they need consent to look in those places, they were “asking” for consent, but the cop who asked me did it in a tone that clearly communicated that she considered it anything but voluntary. What she didn’t know was that I was a cop myself, so after I gave her my license and she asked to look in my trunk, I asked why she needed to do that. She said “routinely security check, nothing to worry about, just pop the trunk”. I politely told her that I was going to decline to do that unless she could articulate some probable cause for searching my trunk. She mockingly said to her partner, “Oh, look, we have another one playing lawyer over here.” I told her that I didn’t need to play lawyer because I actually am one, and I’m also a federal agent. At which point I showed her my badge and asked to her to call her supervisor to the scene so that we could have a discussion about her unprofessional behavior and the manner in which she was abusing citizens’ 4th Amendment rights.

Amazing how her attitude instantly changed.

The point is, they’re now treating *every* mode of travel as a “privilege”, which they can revoke at their whim. The whole thing is starting to get a real police state feel to it, and you know it’s bad if the cops themselves are starting to worry about the creeping authoritarianism going on out there.

Will Sizemore (profile) says:

@BBT What does LASER stand for again? They sure look like they’re focused.

I didn’t think about the gloves not being changed out. That can make it worse. We plan to fly across the country early next year and I would hate to have anyone on my family (ranging in ages from newborn to 34) get sick because TSA was feeling us up and not changing their gloves out.

But they don’t pat you down without your clothes on, do they? They shouldn’t be allowed to touch you nude unless they are at least SUPERVISED by licensed medical professionals. (and I don’t mean an on call duty nurse, I mean that the licensed medical professional should be WATCHING if not conducting)

My ex wife lives in the Atlanta area. I live in Arizona. I have to take my kids to see her sometimes so she’s not the only one traveling, and I certainly don’t want my family exposed to non-hygienic procedures. I almost punched the last doctor who performed a prostate exam when I was getting out of the Army because I had just endured one five weeks earlier and he felt that he, “…wouldn’t be doing job if he let go without one.” He was far less gentle than the previous doctor and I know the perv did it to violate me. But, alas, I was in the Army and I would have gone to jail and very potentially lost my VA benefits had I assaulted him, even though he assaulted me first.

I know, TMI, but it serves to illustrate my point that even though people are licensed and trained to do the right thing doesn’t mean that they can be trusted to do so. At least this urologist had clean gloves and warmed lube. What if the TSA Agent wants to see what I have hidden in my cavities? What about my few-weeks-postpartum wife, newborn son, 4-year-old son, or 11-year-old daughter?

Recording, even filming, the TSA or any other law enforcement agency CANNOT be illegal. Law enforcement personnel MUST be accountable for their actions. Forgive this mostly white guy for saying it, but, “Rodney King, what?”

Martin LaBelle (profile) says:

Turn the tables

Make them feel as comfortable as you do.

  • Suggest places they could check
  • Ask them if various skin issues you might have look infected
  • Tell them to take their time, then tell them to go slower
  • Tell them that prefer them not to talk, and that you like firm pressure
  • say “ooh you smell good”
  • Take 2 Viagra before going through Security
  • Where pants that will fall down when you take your belt off and bright orange Underwear that says ” Suspicious Package” on the front
  • sing “see me, feel me, touch me” in your best Tommy falsetto
  • Stuff a pair of sox in your crotch
  • Stuff a pair of sox in your crotch even if your a woman
Tom Landry (profile) says:

people need to learn to have fun with this.

Take a Cialis before going on your flight and make sure the TSA guy gets to feel a pounding erection while you groan as if you’re enjoying it.

So much the better if its a female.

Also, eating gassy foods and creating a noxious gas cloud while TSA is down feeling your ankles is another win-win situation.

get lemons, make lemonade.

DNY (profile) says:

Can anyone explain to us why there is not already a high-profile 4th Amendment lawsuit lodged by any of the ACLU, a right-of-center pro bono legal organization, the Airline Pilots Association or some trade or industry group representing either business travelers or tourism, seeking an immediate injunction against these procedures as unreasonable searches without probable cause?

hmm says:

lawsuits on the horizon..

I wonder how long it will be before someone (whether falsely or true) claims that the TSA agent did something they weren’t supposed to? like insert a finger into their vagina…or worse still claim this happened to their child.
(a child already scared and frightened can be pretty easily convinced of the sequence of events).

massive lawsuit…even worse publicity…etc…etc…..

hmm says:


that link previously is terrible. Who the HELL knows why that male TSA agent wanted to “pat down” a small male child out of sight of anyone else?

I think some sort of serious investigation is in order here, because there is only one reason to deliberately take a child out of sight of the parents and that is to sexually or physically abuse the child without the parents catching on that something wrong is happening. ALL of the TSA agents involved need to be immediately suspended from duty pending very serious background checks and investigations.

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