Woman Arrested For Groping TSA Agent

Illustration for article titled Woman Arrested For Groping TSA Agent

A Colorado woman was arrested on Thursday for an unusual crime: groping a TSA agent. Now a grassroots movement is rallying behind her.

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According to Kansas CW, 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae was going through security at the Phoenix airport when she got into a disagreement with a female agent. Then she allegedly "squeezed and twisted the agent's breast with both hands." Police said she confessed, but she apparently later denied the groping, telling the New York Post only, "I go through this every week, and every week there is some problem." Presumably she meant she goes through security, not accusations of assault.

As is now de rigueur for acts of civil disobedience, however crass, Mihamae has received an outpouring of support via Facebook. The Facebook group Acquit Yukari Mihamae includes messages like the following:

They get to grab your boobs if you are a lady and it is legal why is it illegal for another woman do the same thing to her. She should be set free

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And:

What did Barry Goldwater say: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" or something like that

Of course, it's possible to protest TSA regulations without abusing someone who's trying to carry them out. The agent in question likely didn't have any authority over how regulations were applied, and groping somebody isn't a great way to show that groping is wrong. If Mihamae really wanted to protest against TSA screenings, she could have found a number of ways to do it without victimizing another woman. And if Americans fed up with TSA procedures want a hero, they should pick somebody who hasn't been arrested for assault.

Police: Woman Retaliates By Groping TSA Agent's Breast At Security Checkpoint [Kansas CW]
Gropes Of Wrath - Fed-Up Flier 'Molests' TSA Screener [NY Post]

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DISCUSSION

theroo
Rooo sez BISH PLZ

"The agent in question likely didn't have any authority over how regulations were applied"

Actually, I'm not so sure about that. I hear a lot about the fact that so many of these abuses — all different in various airports — are happening because agents do in fact have a fair amount of discretion as to how they choose to interpret them ... and then fall back on "I was just following the rules".

I've seen a PDF or two of the actual rules. (I'll see if I can dig them up.) They're not terribly specific, and they do leave a fair amount of room for "agent discretion", IIRC.