SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - An Oceanside resident experienced major turbulence on his trip to South Dakota Saturday, and he never even made it on to his plane at Lindbergh Field.
John Tyner says it all started when at the security checkpoint, where he was in line to go through the metal detectors. Instead, he was detoured to an Advanced Imaging Technology (AID) screening.
Tyner felt the screening - which shows a full body scan - was intrusive and he declined.
"I opted out, they walked me around and explained to me they were going to do a pat down," Tyner told News 8. "They explained what was involved at which point I told them I wasn't comfortable having the gentleman touch my groin."
Tyner taped the conversation on his I-Phone. You can hear the following exchange:
Tyner: "I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made as a condition of my flying."
TSA Agent: "This is not a sexual assault."
Tyner: "It would be if you weren't the government."
The agent goes on to tell Tyner that he gave up rights when he bought his ticket.
Eventually authorities escorted Tyner to the American Airlines ticket counter where he was given a full refund for his flight. Tyner thought the incident was over at that point, but as he was going to leave, he says he was ordered back inside the airport to complete his screening.
TSA officials told him once a screening is started, it has to be completed, even if the passenger decides not to fly. Tyner declined to go back in and left the airport.
The TSA sent News 8 a statement defending their actions and including a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which states, "Requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post 9/11 world."
"Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by 'electing not to fly' on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found."
Tyner was told he could face a fine up to $10,000. There's no word yet if the TSA plans to pursue a case against him.
I'm not happy about the checks either but this guy seems to be making a mountain out of a mole hill. We can't task authorities with the job of keeping us safe then complain about how inconvenient the procedures are. If a person were able to bypass security in the manner this man did and was able to commit an act of terrorism, this guy would the first one yelling the loudest about how incompetent federal authorities were in allowing that to happen.