Tenn. woman arrested at airport during screening

AP News
Posted: Jul 14, 2011 6:35 PM
Tenn. woman arrested at airport during screening

A 41-year-old Tennessee woman was arrested at the Nashville airport after she berated and cursed Transportation Security Administration officers who were trying to pat down her daughter, according to police reports.

Andrea Abbott of Clarksville refused when she and her daughter were told to walk through the body scanners on a Saturday afternoon trip from Nashville to Baltimore.

In an affidavit, officer Sabrina Birge wrote that Abbott told her she wasn't going to go through "that X-Ray." When Birge told her it was safer than a cell phone, Abbott replied that she still didn't want "someone to see our bodies naked."

Officer Karen King then came to do a pat-down, but according to King's affidavit, "(Abbott) started to yell that she had already been screened and that I was not going to grab her daughter's crotch."

King told her that was not part of the pat-down, but Abbott continued saying that King could not touch the girl, who was identified as a teenager. The daughter's age was not given in the police report.

Abbott told the officers that she had gone through an airport recently and opted out of the body scan without having to undergo any additional screening, according to the report.

The TSA officers then called airport police. Officer Jeffery Nolen told Abbott she would have to allow the pat-down or be escorted out of the secured area.

Abbott told him the pat down was "child abuse" but eventually let her daughter be screened. However, she tried to film the pat down with her cell phone, cursing at Nolen when he told her to stop.

After her daughter was screened she began to walk away and refused to go back to be patted down herself, cursing and telling the officers, "I'm done with you people," according to the police report.

Nolen arrested her and charged her with disorderly conduct.

She was released on $500 bond the same day. Court records do not list an attorney for Abbott, and her listed telephone number has been disconnected.

The daughter was escorted to her gate by airport police.

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said in an email that the agency does not discuss specific individuals as a matter of policy. But officers work to respectfully and sensitively resolve security concerns with passengers, and those who refuse to be screened are turned over to law enforcement, she said.