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TSA Ejects Air Passenger For Refusing ‘Groin Check’

November 14, 2010

John Tyner fought the law, and the law won.

He was scheduled to fly from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field to South Dakota for a hunting trip with his father-in-law on Saturday, but he says he drew a clear line between security and privacy when he refused to submit himself to a”standard pat-down“ and a ”groin check” from a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent at the airport’s security checkpoint.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tyner was leery of full-body scanners for both health and privacy reasons and reportedly checked Lindbergh Field‘s website prior to his flight to confirm the airport didn’t use the new full-body security scanners.  To his surprise, he arrived at the airport and was instructed to submit himself to one.   When he refused, a TSA agent told him he would have to go through a full-body pat-down, including a “groin check.”

When Tyner respectfully refused, he was threatened with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine if he left the airports secured area.

“You touch my junk and I’m going to have you arrested,” Tyner can be heard telling the TSA agent as his cell phone camera captured the ordeal.

It was at this time when various TSA supervisors got involved.  When police were called in, Tyner was pulled aside and a TSA supervisor advised him that he would not be allowed to travel unless he submitted to the check.  Tyner opted to leave instead, getting a full refund for the airline ticket.

After leaving the airport, Tyner posted the story on his blog, detailing the incident and posting video of his confrontation on YouTube.

“[The TSA agent] said that I gave up a lot of rights when I bought my ticket. I replied that the government took them away after September 11th,” Tyner wrote.

As a result of his stand, Tyner is receiving some praise from fellow air travelers; one even offered to help foot the bill for any potential fine Tyner faces.

In the video, Tyner can be heard objecting to the TSA’s new more-invasive screening procedures and lamenting how he is troubled by the government’s ability to limit his methods of travel because he exercised his right to privacy.  What the TSA is doing would be illegal if they weren’t the government, Tyner concludes.

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