Travel

TSA Screeners Fired for Groping Hot Dudes

Published On 04/14/2015 Published On 04/14/2015
iStock/Scott Olson

If you’ve ever triggered the security beeper and been patted-down by a TSA officer at the airport, you'd know it's not quite the same as getting to second base.

But for a select handful (zing!) of travelers at Denver International Airport, two TSA screeners were allegedly embroiled in a scheme to steal second, by groping good-looking male passengers in the security line.

A CBS4 investigation discovered two TSA agents, one male and one female, were fired in February for working together to warp screening instruments at Denver International Airport, enabling the male employee to feel up men’s genitals “roughly a dozen times.”

The document states that, in 2014, the offending TSA employee “related [to a coworker] that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”

Though Denver Airport officials were made aware of the agent’s not-so routine “pat-down” searches last November via an anonymous source, action wasn’t taken until almost three months later when TSA supervisor Chris Higgins monitored the pair.

The report says Higgins spotted the male screener gesture to his accomplice, who was manning (so many puns!) the body scanner; as the man walked through, he “observed (the female TSA agent) press the screening button for a female. The scanner alerted to an anomaly, and Higgins observed (the male TSA screener) conduct a pat down of the passenger’s front groin and buttocks area with the palm of his hands, which is contradictory to TSA searching policy.”

In a subsequent interview with Higgins, the female agent admitted she'd manipulated machinery “at least 10 other times” to allow her coworker to inappropriately touch male passengers.

“These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable,” a TSA spokesperson said in a statement to CBS4. “TSA has removed the two officers from the agency. All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable.”

The pair have not been charged with any crimes. But so far, no alleged victims have stepped forward.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.

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