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article imageTSA strip-search 84-year-old grandmother at JFK International

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By Christopher Bates     Dec 4, 2011 in Travel
Jamaica - An 84-year-old grandmother is seeking an apology after being strip-searched by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport last week.
Lenore Zimmerman of Long Island, New York, was on her way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida - a journey she has been making for 10 years now.
In fear that it might interfere with her defibrillator, Zimmerman kindly asked if she forgo the full-body scan, but before she knew it security escorted her to a private room, with no explanation given.
When speaking to ABC News, Zimmerman said: “They took me into a private room and pulled down my slacks and pulled down my underwear."
She was later cut when attempting to lift a lightweight walker off her lap, which accidentally banged against her leg.
“I’m on a blood thinner and I bled like a pig so they called an ambulance and I said, ‘please don’t take me to the hospital, just bandage me up,'" she added.
Although the TSA called a medic, Zimmerman missed her flight and had to wait more than two hours for another.
The TSA denied a strip search took place and that proper procedures were followed.
“While we regret that the passenger feels she had an unpleasant screening experience, TSA does not include strip searches as part of our security protocols and one was not conducted in this case,” the TSA said in a statement.
According to the TSA, CCTV shows Zimmerman requesting a pat-down as opposed to walking through the screening equipment. Once she left the private screening room with two female officers, the wheelchair attendant assisted her to the gate.
Zimmerman concluded: “It’s humiliating, and it was ridiculous. I mean, I’m telling you I weigh 103 pounds, I was in a walker, I’m going to be 85 in February, only me this could happen to. I had my metal walker and my suitcase on my lap, I was in a wheelchair, and I look like, like a terrorist like the man in the moon.”
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