Steven deForest was flying out of Las Vegas when the incident occurred.
"A bulky young TSA agent came over to pat me down," he told the Huffington Post
. "He told me to turn around. He was using his command voice, barking orders. I told him that I wasn't comfortable turning away from my luggage, which had already been screened, and wanted to keep it in my sight."
According to deForest, the screener knelt down to begin the pat-down procedure before making a shocking move.
"As he raised his hands he was looking at me. Then he gave a quick flick and smacked me in one of my testicles," deForest said.
The episode left deForest in a state of "humiliation, rage, and frustration," according to the report.
DeForest believes the agent slapped his gentials as punishment for refusing to enter the backscatter x-ray machine. "I was deliberately assaulted by someone who knew that he could get away with it," he stated.
While the motives of the TSA screener cannot be confirmed, other agents have already admitted to performing invasive pat downs in order to force air travelers to choose the body scanners instead.
TSA screeners described this goal
to The Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010, when the enhanced pat downs were being implemented for the first time:
I asked [the screener] if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. "Nobody's going to do it," he said, "once they find out what we're going to do."
In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the [body scanner] over molestation? "That's what we're hoping for. We're trying to get everyone into the machine."
"The obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech [testicle] check," Goldberg concluded. If deForest's disturbing testimony is accurate, then Goldberg might just be right.