The unfortunate occurrence of groping-by-TSA has become something of a commonplace inconvenience. Now, it seems that frequent flyers might be fighting back, as we have yet another reported case of role reversal in which someone actually gropes a TSA agent first.
Florida airline passenger Carol Jean Price says that while going through security to catch a flight, a TSA agent grabbed her breasts and groin area during a routine screening at Southwest Florida International Airport. Now the 59-year-old woman is accused of groping a female TSA agent while going through security, though Price says she was just standing up for herself, according to Daily News.
A video corroborates this, showing Price dramatically throw down her bags and lunging for a TSA agent, grabbing her in the groin area. “She did not touch the supervisor as intrusively as she was touched,” Price’s lawyer John Mills said in response to the video.
Agents present during the incident said that Price became flustered after TSA requested she step aside for additional screening. At this point, Price asked to speak to a supervisor (the eventual victim of her assault). When the sueprvisor showed up, Price “demonstrated and grabbed the leg of the agent and the crotch area as she claimed had happened to her,” said one of the agents.
The plot thickens: lawyer Mills suggests that the initial extra screening was actually personal. Turns out, Price herself is a former TSA agent, and her lawyer says she was targeted because the two women knew each other. “She’s obviously been through training and knew this lady,” said Mills.
Price was removed from her flight to Ohio, where she was to attend her brother’s funeral. She faces misdemeanor battery charges. TSA said in a statement that “The pat down was conducted correctly in accordance with our procedures,” adding that, “Violence against our officers, who work every day to keep the traveling public safe, is unacceptable.”
Mills says that Price’s protest was simply “a customer complaint of an extremely inappropriate search,” continuing, “Ms. Price just wants her name cleared.”
Is Carol Price justified? Do the TSA abuse their authority too much?