Poway woman claims assault by airport security

By Emily Sorensen

A Poway woman is says she is struggling to get information from the Transportation Security Administration after allegedly being assaulted by agents at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Nov. 1.

Longtime Poway resident Maggie Buckenmayer says she was sexually and emotionally assaulted by two female TSA agents in Birmingham, Ala.

Maggie Buckenmayer, a longtime Poway resident, said she was flying home with her husband from visiting family for her mother’s 87th birthday in Birmingham, Ala., when she was sexually and emotionally assaulted by two female TSA agents in the security line at the airport, where she was trying to catch a plane home to San Diego. Now, Buckenmayer says she is struggling to get her case heard by TSA officials.

Buckenmayer, 58, is a frequent traveler through the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, due to having family and a family business in Birmingham, and said she has never had any trouble with going through security there before. She flies in and out of the airport two or three times a year.

“I am compliant with the TSA,” said Buckenmayer. “Anything they ask, I do.”

Buckenmayer said she was pulled aside for a pat-down after setting off the metal detector with her artificial knees and was repeatedly touched inappropriately and roughly by two female TSA agents, who claimed to feel a strange protrusion in her genital area. After becoming emotional when she was taken into a private room and examined by a third female TSA agent, who said she felt no protrusion, Buckenmayer said she was then roughly prodded by a metal detector wand by one of the first two agents who had examined her, before being allowed to leave and catch her plane.

Buckenmayer says she is trying to get her story out, get TSA to admit what happened, and have TSA either fire or retrain the two agents who she says abused her. However, she said she is encountering difficultly in getting information, and the videotape of her incident, from the TSA. While she has been informed that her case has been elevated to the TSA Division of Civil Liberties, information is scarce, with calls and emails being left unreturned.

“I’m getting the runaround from the TSA,” said Buckenmayer. “The local TSA agents are pointing fingers at each other.”

The incident has left Buckenmayer deeply upset, and wanting to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“In any other incident, if strangers put their hands on me they way [the TSA agents] put their hands on me, they’d be convicted of sexual assault,” said Buckenmayer. “[The TSA] is a government body that grievously abuses their power.”

TSA issued a statement to CBS 42, the local Birmingham channel that covered Buckenmayer’s story.

“TSA remains committed to conducting the screening process with dignity and respect. After this person alarmed at the walk through metal detector, per standard operating procedure, a pat down was conducted. An additional pat down was conducted in private in order to resolve a potential anomaly, at which time the passenger was cleared to travel. TSA is sensitive to the concerns of passengers not satisfied with their screening experience and we work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will continue to find new ways to permeate our security procedures in an attempt to cause harm to travelers,” TSA said in a written statement.

Buckenmayer, who said she has spoken with both Sen. Diane Feinstein and Rep. Duncan Hunter on this issue, is continuing to spread her story to consumer advocate groups. Buckenmayer said she in considering filing criminal charges against the TSA over this incident.

Short URL: http://www.pomeradonews.com/?p=31171

Posted by Emily Sorensen on Dec 5 2012. Filed under Local News, Poway. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Comments for “Poway woman claims assault by airport security”

  1. TonyTex

    You should file criminal charges against the TSA agents involved. It might not go anyway due to some 'privileges', but at least it will force them to respond.

  2. Bill Fisher

    Does anyone really believe that the airplanes were made safer by exposing and traumatizing this woman? The only ones who do are fools and cowards. How many times do these things have to happen before Congress demands replacement of this agency?

    A poll of regular fliers in September found that “Ninety percent of frequent flyers think that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is doing either a poor or fair job in performing security screenings at the nation’s airports, according to a new survey of frequent flyers conducted by Frequent Business Traveler magazine and released on Monday”, Miami Herald September 10, 2012.

    Maybe TSA can explain how any of this abuse is preventing a terrorist attack or how keeping a known pedophile working at Philadelphia airport six months after he was exposed is keeping our skies safe. Or why another screener was arrested for raping a young boy he was mentoring, making that 15 screeners charged with child sex crimes in 22 months.

    Can TSA explain how having over a dozen screeners smuggling drugs and guns through our airports in the past 24 months is essential to airport security?

    We would like to know how having 103 TSA workers arrested in the last 24 months including 15 arrested for child sex crimes, over 28 for theft, 12 for smuggling contraband through security and one for murder is acceptable when no other agency has anywhere near this number of criminal arrests.

    Crime, abuse and incompetence is so widespread in TSA that even Kip Hawley, the last TSA Director, has called for its overhaul.

    This just demonstrates how stupid and sick the whole TSA approach is and why it needs to be overhauled. TSA has done more damage to our liberty and way of life morality than Al Qaeda could have ever hoped to do.

  3. Dan Marc

    It doesn't matter who assaults you – call 911 asap and tell them to call the police and tell them that you are being or have just been assaulted. Government agency workers have no immunity or special exemption from personal assault, sexual assault or any other criminal action. The police will have to come to the scene. Be sure to get the names of the perpetrators. Criminal charges would need to be filed against the individual offenders by the local district attorney. No matter what, get a personal injury attorney who will take your civil case on a contingency fee basis.

  4. Another View

    There is another option. Drive or take a train if you don't like the TSA.

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