Yesterday, 85-year-old Lenore Zimmerman shared her humiliating tale of being strip-searched at JFK Airport, a TSA ordeal that included her leg being wounded and missing her flight to Florida. But now the TSA denies that she was strip-searched, which has infuriated the Long Island grandmother even more. She tells the Daily News, “Why would I make up this story? In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t think of such a thing happening.”
Zimmerman had been on her way to catch a JetBlue flight to Florida on Tuesday when she approached security and asked if she could opt out of the advanced image technology screening machines, because of her defibrillator (she's been patted down on previous visits). But this time, she was taken to a room and Zimmerman claims she had to remove her clothes.
The TSA issued a statement to the AP, insisting, "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.... Private screening was requested by the passenger, it was granted and lasted approximately 11 minutes. TSA screening procedures are conducted in a manner designed to treat all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy and that occurred in this instance."
At one point, when she lifted her walker, one of the walker's bars hit her leg, leaving a gash. She says she "bled like a pig" because she's on blood-thinning medication. Zimmerman emphatically told the News, “They’re lying to protect their a-- because they’re afraid of being sued — and they will be sued... They took me into a private screening room and pulled my pants down and then pulled down my underwear. If that’s not strip-searching, I don’t know what else you’d call it.”