Woman Faces Felony Charges For Groping A TSA Agent

from the you-can-only-grope-in-one-direction dept

Well, while it may be legal for the TSA to grope you, that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to grope back. It appears that one woman is finding that out the hard way, after grabbing and squeezing the breast of a TSA agent. She admitted to “the crime,” and now faces felony charges. It’s not clear if she did this as any sort of protest against the pat downs, though it does strike me as an interesting way to make that point (if that is the case). After all, if it’s okay for the TSA to do that to passengers, but it’s a felony in the other direction, doesn’t that at least raise some questions about the “reasonableness” of the pat downs?

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Comments on “Woman Faces Felony Charges For Groping A TSA Agent”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Re: @Dark Helmet: always focus on trivial, especially sexual.

Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:03am

“Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.”

Ha! I think I’m in love w/this woman….

That’s a variety of icky:
1) Trolling the site with inane trivia.
2) Evidencing puerile fixation on sexuality.
3) Evidencing inability to deal with actuality.
4) Reveals shallow regard for but high need of “love”.
5) It devalues the site.
6) The only reason it’s not pointed out it is because you’re of the “in” group here, among (equally low) peers.
7) It’s just plain icky.
8) Shows utter lack of self-awareness of the above.

On the one hand, I wish you’d stop — I can find such comments anywhere — but on the other hand, it proves the level of discourse here, completely undermines Mike’s pose of urban sophistication.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: @Dark Helmet: always focus on trivial, especially sexual.

what logical argument are you using to arrive at the conclusion that one person proves the level of discourse here, and moreover how that would undermine someone else’s sophistication? Whatever logical argument you provide, i’ll tear it apart because I can tell you there is no way to logically arrive at that conclusion based on the information you provided. That would be apparent to any logician, whether or not this is their first time here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: @Dark Helmet: always focus on trivial, especially sexual.

Why do you even post here? I haven’t seen a single insightful post from you. You seem to only be here so you can sling mud in Mike’s direction.

every out_of_his_mind post ever:

There. now. Every time you see “out_of_the_blue” in the name field, read the previous paragraph five times and you can be easily spared having to read another one of his half-baked suppositions ever again.

HothMonster says:


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Greevar, read the conclusion of the story:

After all, if it’s okay for the TSA to do that to passengers, but it’s a felony in the other direction, doesn’t that at least raise some questions about the “reasonableness” of the pat downs?

Mike isn’t beyond trying to spin this against the TSA at every turn. I think he does this because his biggest ever traffic spkie was during the TSA thing last year, and perhaps he is trying to pump the traffic back up, maybe get some sponsors back on the site.

All I know is that a pat down for security purposes is significantly different from someone randomly sexually assaulting someone else. There is no reason to try to extract good out of a sexual assault.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“No reason? Not even “security”? “

Nope, because they don’t increase security by any measurable amount.

None of these measures do anything to thwart another 9/11, which last I checked, was the impetus for all of this security theater.

If we’re not trying to stop the very threat that hit us, the ‘new’ threat, then what are we doing? Bombs on planes have been around for literally decades. Why didn’t we try to stop them like this before? hmmm?

The Incoherent One (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Again, you seem to not understand so I will try one more time. Its not about spin, its not about groping. It about hypocrisy.

I could simply be standing in line at an airport not doing anything suspicious or wrong, but yet I can be selected to have my dick groped by a 50 year old man. But if he does that to me and I turn around and do the same to him, I am somehow a felon and need to serve jail time.

Granted the woman’s move was a bit drastic, and not quite the same as an actual “approved” groping, the conclusion is still the same. I can do this to you, but if you do it to me it’s sexual assault.

What someone should do is have a class on the “approved” groping moves so that “we”, the public, can be properly trained in how to show our benevolent TSA screeners what it really feels like to be treated like a law breaking piece of meat.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Mike isn’t beyond trying to spin this against the TSA at every turn. I think he does this because his biggest ever traffic spkie was during the TSA thing last year, and perhaps he is trying to pump the traffic back up, maybe get some sponsors back on the site.”

I’m sure Mike posted this story because the Submit inbox was inundated by it. Hell, the only reason I didn’t submit it was because I knew that just about everyone else that saw the hilarious irony here was already submitting it by the time I read it.

But hey, don’t let me get in the way of AC’s trying to pump up their traffic since they aren’t beyond trying to spin this kind of story against Mike and Techdirt at every turn.

See, here’s what’s funny: you say Mike is trying to spin this against the TSA… but we all know the whole thing is a joke with a somewhat-applicable-to-reality punch line. You, on the other hand, actually believe in the addition of this to your anti-Mike campaign. And we all know that too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“All I know is that a pat down for security purposes is significantly different from someone randomly sexually assaulting someone else. There is no reason to try to extract good out of a sexual assault.”

Might I suggest you learn the meaning of pat-down, and the significantly more intrusive procedure of how the TSA performs theirs much akin to sexual assault.

As has been pointed out time and time again, all the extra procedures being implemented by the DHS and TSA have done virtually nothing to help increase the overall security of airline travel. Quite frankly the only thing that has been produced by the DHS or any of it’s lower organizations is to rape your rights.

As far as I’m concerned any American working for these organizations is much more of a threat to our liberties than people seeking vengeance for how terribly our government has unjustly exploited, invaded, or destabilized their country. For as many civilian casualties our armed forces create it’s quite hypocritical to expect we should never receive any ourselves. Neither is justifiable, but if you’re going to wage war you should expect people to die.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I have witness and been subject to the new tsa inspection, and I don’t consider it a sexual assault. Perhaps people who shower with their clothes on and think that underwear is a naughty, naughty sexual thing might have a problem with it, but honestly, tracing along the straps of a bra to assure there is nothing in them isn’t a big deal.

It sounds like this girl turned, grabbed, and twisted the TSA agent’s breasts. No TSA agent is doing that to anyone. You know it, but you choose to ignore it because it makes a good story.

It’s more BS, want to bet this one has a wordpress blog to yap about it too?

HothMonster says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“I have witness and been subject to the new tsa inspection”

I call bullshit. Having a grown man cup your nuts would be foreplay or sexual assault anywhere other than an airport. Just because he uses the back of his hand rather than a palm doesnt make it less of an assault especially when you are doing it to kids. I can think of other places were we require pat-downs for security(concerts, federal courhouse, ect), no where else do they think they can get away with this level of abuse.

Viln (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The average person isn’t protesting being searched before boarding a plane as much as the incompetent manner, questionable methods and pervasive swagger with which the TSA approaches what is quite clearly a diminishing of the 4th amendment. This publicity stunt brings attention to that, and the dissatisfaction many people bear it. Sometimes you have to take something to an absurd degree or abstract in order to prove that a perversion, even if it’s so minor you think it’s “not a big deal”, is still a perversion. Thank goodness there are activist fruitloops like this lady, because as much as TSA bothers me I won’t be grabbing an agent’s junk.

AC, it’s funny you question techdirt’s reporting motives as sensational… because your strawman presence here and all its anti-Masnick devil’s advocate vitriol drives more comments and bandwidth than probably any other poster. For a while I was convinced you were on the payroll.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The ONLY four things that have increased our airline security since 9/11/01:

1) Re-enforced cockpit doors
2) Pilots, occasionally armed, instructed not to yield the cockpit under any circumstances.
3) Armed undercover agents
4) The fact that passengers will actively attack and force submission of any potential hijacker with a weapon less lethal than a machine gun – even at the passengers’ own peril.

With these 4 factors, our risk of hijack from small weapons is almost nil. This means that the TSA on the ground should focus on big metal and explosives…but instead they have focused on your nail clippers, and octogenarian cancer patients breasts.

These 4 factors, combined, increase our flying safety a great deal. Nut juggling and nude scans, not so much.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Can't wait for the defense in this case

I’m just cracking up as I imagine what the defense is in this case.

I’m thinking some imaginative lawyer is going to come up with a cultural defense.

“Your honor, my client was just returning what she believed to be a form of greeting. In my client’s culture, it is quite normal, after stroking of her labium to return the affection with a squeezing and twisting of the breasts.”

Case dismissed…. footage on youporn.com

Anonymous Coward says:

Please Explain AC

How is it ‘low’ to point out that Person A performing action X on person B is a felony, while Person B performing action X on Person A is perfectly ‘legal’…..

If the action is offensive and a potential felony, please explain why it is okay or reasonable to expect that the public should have to submit to it (without the … OMG Terrorists will win)

NullOp says:


Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. So, once again Americans want ultimate security as long as it doesn’t involve them! I think my dad used to say something about having your cake and eating it too. I guess TSA will start employing mediums to read minds and perform psychic-searches on passengers since passengers don’t want to be searched or scanned but perfect security must still be provided. TSA should provide Tyvek suits for people to travel in with a pair of recyclable flip-flops to wear. You come to the airport in it and leave in it. Oh, and no luggage allowed. Ship it some other way! I’d love to see those measures enacted!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Crime

Israel has always been a poor example. They have fewer flights world wide every day than even some of our medium sized single airports let alone JFK and the like.

Sure it works but it doesn’t scale to the levels we need in our system.

I’m not defending the TSA, just saying that the Israeli system won’t work here.

egghead (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Crime

I don’t see how it wouldn’t scale. You train people to look for suspicious activity, that’s perfectly scalable. It would require a whole lot less time than running every traveler through a gauntlet of “security measures,” so, that’s easily scaled. More flights? More trained security professionals.

The goal should be to earn the respect of travels, not their ire.

HHH says:

Re: Re: Re: Crime

I’m not sure there’s a reason why the Israeli methods would not scale. It would simply entail replacing the,(for the most part), detached and disinterested TSA timecard punchers with perceptive and analytical employees, who would engage in actual background review and dialog. The Dutch now have a system more comparable to that as well.It’s amazing that, for all the mindless punishment imposed travelers in US airports, the security inspectors are not even aware of the identity or destinations of those they’re inspecting. There would be no significant cost overhead, other than more rigorous TSA hiring criteria, to replace this perfunctory bureaucracy with effective inspection.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Crime

“So, once again Americans want ultimate security as long as it doesn’t involve them!

Any intelligent American can tell the difference between effective security measures and smoke & mirrors that only provide a false sense of it. Of the billions of airline passengers there has only been maybe a few hundred or so that have actually caused any sort of security risk, and violating the rights of 99.9999999999999999999999999999999% of the law abiding passengers is ludicrous.

I’m an American and I own a gun, that is my security. Our government and its foreign policy is the real threat to our national security – we’re quite good at making enemies.

egghead (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Crime

Actually, it all depends on how you define eating and having. I can eat a slice of the cake and still have the cake available. Also, I can eat all the cake and I still have it, all in my stomach (not recommended in one sitting). I could also cut out a section of the cake from the bottom, eat that and still have my cake appear to be untouched.

So, tell me again why I can’t have my cake and eat it too?

ClarkeyBalboa (profile) says:

Re: Crime

“I guess TSA will start employing mediums to read minds and perform psychic-searches on passengers since passengers don’t want to be searched or scanned but perfect security must still be provided.”

I believe the TSA would be just as effective with this method as they currently are with the ‘molest everyone’ approach they are currently employing.

If the TSA wants real security without the theatre, they should hire actual security experts and take a look at the level of airport security in places like Tel Aviv. You can’t say that they don’t have less reason for security, but when was the last time you heard about the level of stupidity in their airports? I saw a documentary on their security and they train their personel to actually identify suspiscious persons, not to grope every person and their 2 year olds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Crime

>>So, once again Americans want ultimate security

You must not know many Americans. All the ones I know don’t want “ultimate” security. They want “reasonable” security. It’s surprising how the average American truly, deeply understands the concept of ROI. What the TSA is doing these days isn’t R’ing on our I.

hobo says:

Re: Government oversteps its authority

This is incorrect on many levels. It is the granting of rights or authority to the government that allows them (the government) to do those things and restricts us (“the people”) from doing those same things. We gave up the right to arrest, hold, judge, and punish, to name a few, and gave those duties to the government.

I do not have the right to tax you, but we could vote to raise taxes. We could grant the authority for DHS/TSA to grope, regardless of whether or not we as individuals have that right. Need I go further?

“The people” or their representatives can grant any authority to the government. Seems silly as a law could be made that we all must carry around red licorice, but true.

That said, I’m not defending DHS/TSA, I find it reprehensible and wasteful.

known coward says:

Re: Re: Government oversteps its authority

that is just it, a majority of americans are saying “f*ck no” to this stuff and it still just gets worse and worse. The american people have no say. If your representives represented you, this would all go away. Security theatre only benifits the people doing it.

The Cheroff’s of the world are making a fortune (http://chertoffgroup.com/cgroup/), and we the people are quite literally getting the finger.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Government oversteps its authority

representative ‘democracy’ in any system with parties is a form of oligarchy. elections are not about representing the people, they’re about maintaining stability and, by extension, the status quo (on a larger scale than the petty term by term back and forth they use to distract the citizens)

without parties it may or may not be any better for any length of time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Eliminate commercial flying as a viable travel option. Only run private flights for actual needed reasons otherwise. Take the $$$ spent on the TSA and pump it into more efficient flights with smaller planes. Smaller planes are apparently not a “threat” so they can fly without TSA involved out of private gates. Let businesses actually USE teleconferencing and video chat instead of the archaic business model enforcing the wasteful spending on a trip just to schmooze someone so that they’ll buy your subpar offering!

Let the TSA die and commercial airlines come up with a better business plan that’s not reliant on a model that’s 3 decades old!

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bad analogy

You’re right, your analogy is a bad one

Not to mention that the premise is wrong. If a police officer tazes you for no reason other than that they are going through the population and tazering 10% of them with no legal cause (or just because doing so makes the 90% of the public not tazed happy that the government is looking out for their safety,) you have every right to use the same or more level of force against them. Being a police officer gives you no right to break the law, and police officers are given certain privileges by the public (specifically use of force,) in order to do their job…but all citizens may use force to protect their own life. Use of force has limits and thank FSM that TSA doesn’t have tazers…that is a nightmare given how badge-heavy they are without having weapons at their disposal.

Dave (profile) says:

Re: Bad analogy

So if a cop tasers me it should be ok to taser one back according to your theory.

Wow. You didn’t think that one through at all!

First, cops don’t randomly taze people waiting in line to get on a plane. Second, what the woman did IS NOT OK. Conversely, what the TSA does is also NOT OK, just because they are hoping it makes someone else feel safer.

Andrew (profile) says:

Re: Bad analogy

If cops where tasering everyone they stopped to check then that is another kettle of fish. You usually get so many warnings before they actually use the taser on you.

Second off TSA agents are not cops so thats such a bad analogy.

Finally, I don’t even think anyone who read this article will say that what the passenger did was correct. It was very rude if you ask me but as Techdirt tries to highlight all the time. These are the problems with it and the question comes up are these regulations stopping any threats?

Butcherer79 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Bad analogy

Forgive me, but if you get ‘tazed’ doesn’t that incapacitate you, making it somewhere between fairly difficult and impossible to ‘taze’ this person back?

Unless you’re waiting to be released from custody, aquire a tazer, hunt down the instigator of this “tazer tennis” game, draw and fire the tazer without being seen or heard (so you’re not re-fired upon) and fire. Making sure, of course that you miss any body armour that might be being worn.
Of course, this MAY be considered premeditation which won’t hold you in fantastic stead when you’re in court explaining the incident/assault.

ALSO, if the original firer IS a cop, chances are you’ll get ‘tazed’ again after delivering your cunningly thought out plan, thus resulting in more “eye for an eye” revenge attacks…

Maybe I’ve strayed from the point

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Re: Bad analogy

“””Down with pat downs and taking off shoes and security…it’s SOOOO inconvenient!!!!!”””

The bigger problem is that it’s SOOOO irrelevant! Pat downs and taking off shoes have stopped precisely zero attacks, and furthermore will never stop any attacks, because the turrists KNOW ABOUT THAT CHECK so they WON’T USE THAT STRATEGY. It only affects all other travelers (which is basically all of them) in the form of aggrevation and, in your case, a false sense of security.

Ever heard of closing the barn door after the horses have run away?

Rez (profile) says:

We could solve all the problems with two simple actions:
1) Disband the TSA and remove all the stupid naked scanners
2) Allow pilots to carry guns in a sealed and bolted cabin door.

Not all, but many commercial pilots today have military experience and even earned their wings flying planes and helicopters for the military. We already hold pilots responsible for the safety of their passengers, just arm them. Many other countries already have.

College Professor says:

Enough, already!

Cripes…if you want to travel, you have to make sacrifices. Let the American government do what they feel is needed to be done, to keep Americans safe. After all, they know best. That is why we voted them in. And if you don’t like being groped, take the bus. Oh, wait……http://www.prisonplanet.com/surprise-tsa-is-searching-your-subway-truck-ferry-bus-and-plane.html

egghead (profile) says:

Re: Enough, already!

“Cripes…if you want to travel, you have to make sacrifices. Let the American government do what they feel is needed to be done, to keep Americans safe. After all, they know best. That is why we voted them in. And if you don’t like being groped, take the bus.”

First, do these politicians go through the same security screening when they travel? Second, I only voted in the Senators and Representatives for Texas; unfortunately, they appear to be going against the ideals they projected during their campaigns and I have severely limited power to have them punished or removed from their position. Third, no politician is omniscient and therefore cannot know for certain what is best.

I’d take the bus, but a bus is limited to the posted speed limits and typically unionized agreements on driver fatigue; thereby reducing the serviceable radius for a given block of time. They also are not very efficient at international travel, especially when the origin and destination landmasses are separated by vast expanses of water.

Only when the TSA can definitively prove that such excessive security measures have and will stop every conceivable threat, will I voluntarily subject myself to the otherwise sexually abusive violations of the unalienable rights provided me by the very Constitution of these United States of America.

Anonymous Coward says:

So someone was fed up and gave what she got… plus a bit more perhaps. Was it right, not likely. Would the TSA get busted for it? Perhaps… if it was publicly noted enough. Will things continue to get more and more stressful “at the gate” and more people snap and respond like this? Of course they will. Is there a reason for it? Is safety REALLY better? Not really, as has been proven in testing. What it has done is make it less enjoyable, create more of a cash drain on the system, and had a ton of other negative effects. The system is full of loop holes and the TSA / gate side of things are the least of the worries.

I no longer fly commercially. Family vacations no longer include airlines although they do involve private flights from small airports. The commercial airlines no longer earn my support with money spent on them. I’ve noticed an appreciable savings in vacation money spent over the past few years and that’s just fine with me. Over 20 years of my family outings with the children that would be approximately 360 tickets. Who does that affect more in the long run, them or us?

If the price I “pay” to avoid even one of my children to be subjected to a “patdown” is a bit more inconvenience and a lot more travel time, I’m willing to make that sacrifice! We’ve spent more times in trains, RVs, and autos than prior but it hasn’t mattered at all. We spend the money we save on mobile entertainment in the form of handheld systems, portable dvd players, etc. and everyone stays entertained regardless. If more of the american public did the same and spoke with the only influence they’ve really got (where they actually spend their $$$) I’m sure the impact would be major. After all, that’s all that the big corporations really care about in the long run.

There are more deaths by magnitudes in preventable auto accidents, medical conditions, cancers, etc. every year than have ever been lost to “terrorism” yet we continue to ignore simple statistics like that. When our government manipulates current “emotional” events to control the system we get this type of situation. The very fact that the TSA even exists as a knee-jerk reaction to the tragedy that 9-11 really was is a completely illogical view of actual reality and the statistics of deaths in our own country.

Note: I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t a tragedy, and that the loss of life was a sad and ultimately frustrating and emotional event, simply that preventing deaths is NOT what the TSA, Patriot Act, etc. are really about. An analysis of the most basic facts and statistics specifically prove otherwise. *shrug*

Dude says:

TSA (Total Sexual Assault)

I don’t fly commercially anymore. They have no laws to justify the scanners or grope downs. The lady who groped the TSA scum is being denied her constitutional right to equal protection under the law. If they choose to charge her with a crime they should also charge the TSA scum. It is illegal for anybody to grope anybody without concent or a warrant….

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