Woman who groped TSA worker claims retaliation

Mike Mason

Woman who groped TSA worker claims retaliation

By Mike Mason. CREATED Jun 19, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 19, 2012

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It's a story that's grabbing national headlines; a Lee County woman arrested for apparently groping a TSA supervisor. But tonight, her attorney says those two women used to work together at TSA and the arrest had more to do with retaliation. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is here to explain.

Carol Price says she grabbed the supervisor to make a point and she was really arrested because the supervisor never liked her.
John Mills: "They just did not get along when she worked there. It was very obvious to me it was retaliation."

Carol Price's attorney says a TSA supervisor targeted his client during a security screening at RSW.  He says Price worked there for over 3 years as a TSA screener herself. But on April 20th, when she was a passenger on a United Airlines flight, Price says she groped a TSA supervisor to demonstrate what had just happened to her.

John Mills: "She was so angry at the time she felt she had to express her frustration over being groped extremely inappropriately by this TSA agent."

Officials say Price set off an alarm while going through security which required a secondary screening.  Video shows the agent touching price's inner thighs and brushing her hands along her breasts.  

John Mills: "Her genitals were touched twice from the front and the back and you can see her breasts were touched numerous times with the front of the hands."

As a former TSA screener herself, Price claims agents are not supposed to touch a person's genitals or breasts with their open hands. We called a current TSA supervisor to find out.

Mike Mason: "So you are supposed to use the back of your hand."

The supervisor told me protocol states agents are supposed to use the backs of their hands to search sensitive areas unless there's a good reason to believe the passenger is hiding something.

But nothing in the Port Authority's report indicates Price was under any suspicion. Despite this, TSA officials maintain the pat down was, "Conducted according to established protocols".

John Mills: "There is no logical reason that a person's genitals should be searched during a TSA screening."

That's why Price says she then confronted a supervisor and grabbed her in the same way she says she was grabbed by a TSA worker.  According to Price, that particular supervisor never liked her when they worked together at RSW and that's the real reason she had her arrested.

Price was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. Her case is set for trial beginning on July 3rd. We'll let you know what happens.