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Old Nov 12, 10, 1:24 pm
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: ELP
Posts: 3,746
My recent experience with TSA pat down

Flying out of ELP last week, decided to opt out of the "cancer" machine and was told to wait.

In a LOUD voice, first smurf "OPT OUT".

I am then told to walk to the "pat down" area -- thru the NON WORKING metal detector. Why not just keep the detector on and have the passenger walk thru and then do a light pat down?

Groping starts -- I was making some jokes about things moving up. Smurf asks "why did you chose to opt out?". I tell her that getting cancer is not very high on my priority list. Her response -- "These machines don't cause cancer". I just ignored her as a smartazz comment was on the tip of my tongue. But I chose to bit my tongue.

Groper smurf asks me to remove my wallet and watch and place in tray. I oblige. He then finishes his groping and picks up the basket and starts to walk away.

I ask him if I can follow him so I can keep "an eye on my belongings". He says loudly -- "NO, stay here". I said "If you decide to take my belongings out of my view, I will have to call a LEO and press charges for theft.

At that time, he puts down the basket and calls for a supervisor, saying loudly "that I am uncooperating".

Supervisor comes over and stops approx 6 inches from my face and say "Do you want to fly today?" loudly. Asks again louder.

At this point, I m getting a little pissed off. So, I tell her loudly to back up out of my space and tell her that she has ABSOLUTELY NO power to detain me and yes, I will fly today. I also tell her that I would like a LEO here now.

So, she calls them and 3 LEOS show up. The smurf who gropes me says "Impeding search". I look at the officer and tell him that all I was asking for was to keep an "eye on my belongings". I wanted to watch him put it in the xray machine and wanted to retrieve it on the security side.

The officer says that that is perfectly a legitimate request and sends the groper smurf along with another LEO to scan the wallet and watch. In the meantime, the head LEO is explaining the procedures to me and I listen to him. After he is done, I explain to him that I complied with everything except the issue with the belongings.

At that point, supervisor smurf starts telling the LEO that I got in her face and told her that she did not have the right to detain me. The LEO looks at me and asks if that was true. I said it was but after she was in my face asking "Do you want to fly today?". I even pointed to the cameras around and asked the supervisor to get the tape and replay the situation so the LEO can see how she invaded my personal space first.

Now, the LEO starts to notice that I know my stuff and makes the proper decision. He tells the supervisor to back off and let me catch my flight. She starts to protest and he shuts her down by saying "This gentleman did not break any laws nor did he have anything illegal, so unless the TSA can show proof, they need to let me go."

I gather my belongings, smile at the TSA staff that are looking at me THUNDERBOLTS in their eyes and be on my way. The LEO walks with me for a bit and when he is out of earshot, tells me

"Son, you know your rights. They don't. Next time, just call us before things escalate and we will take care of it in the proper manner."

And I did catch my flight -- on time.
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