Huffpost Travel

Lenore Zimmerman: TSA 'Strip-Searched' Me

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UPDATE 12/5:

The TSA issued a statement to The Daily News on Sunday apologizing to Zimmerman, saying: “TSA contacted the passenger to apologize that she feels she had an unpleasant screening experience; however, TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case.

Zimmerman still holds that the TSA is "lying" and may "sue them anyway."

PREVIOUSLY: An 85-year-old Long Island woman is threatening to sue the TSA after what she claims was a bloody strip-search by the agency.

Lenore Zimmerman, of Long Beach, was on her way from JFK airport to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday when she claims the TSA took her into a private room and began removing her clothes, the Daily News reports.

The retired receptionist, who uses a walker and stands 4 foot 11, said her son dropped her off at the airport for a 1pm flight. When she got to security, she asked if she could not go through the scanners--fearing it could interfere with her defibrillator--and instead be patted down, which she claims she normally does. Instead, she was taken by two female agents to a private room.

"I walk with a walker -- I really look like a terrorist," she told the paper. "I'm tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched."

Zimmerman claims that when she went to remove her walker from her lap (as she was in a wheelchair) one of the metal bars hit her leg and set off a flow of blood from a previous cut. "My sock was soaked with blood. I was bleeding like a pig," she told the paper.

Yet closed-circuit footage from the airport shows that "proper procedures were followed," TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told the paper.

Medics arrived to treat her injury, causing her to miss her 1pm flight to Florida. Zimmerman got a tetanus shot for fear of infection from the walker.

This isn't the first time the TSA has caught flack from patting down the elderly. In June, a 95-year-old, cancer-stricken woman claims the TSA made her remove her adult diaper during a search.

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