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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    TSA apologizes to Michigan man over pat-down

    DETROIT — The northern Michigan man who said he was humiliated recently by a Detroit Metro Airport security pat-down that ended up spilling urine onto his shirt and pants from a urostomy bag under his clothing said he got a call Monday from the head of the Transportation Security Administration apologizing for the incident.

    Thomas Sawyer, 61, of Houghton Lake, Mich., a bladder cancer survivor, said TSA Administrator John Pistole called him Monday afternoon and “”apologized on behalf of the TSA.””

    “”Of course I was very gracious and accepted his apology,”” Sawyer said. “”This is not about anger at all. I just want some changes made”” in how federal security screeners handle medical conditions such as his.

    Pistole pledged to require more training of screeners and to investigate the Nov. 7 incident as Sawyer and his wife prepared to board a flight to Orlando, Fla., for a vacation, Sawyer said. He’s a retired special education teacher at DeWitt High School near Lansing, Mich.

    TSA officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

    Sawyer’s pat-down has been in the national spotlight as travelers have objected to full-body scanners, fearing radiation, and opted instead for pat-downs that some say are too invasive.

    Sawyer said he was pleased with the call and told Pistole he wanted to prevent this from happening to others who undergo body searches.

    “”Here I am, just an average citizen from a small town,”” Sawyer said. “”I told him, ‘I only want training for the agents on medical conditions.”’

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