Buffalo travelers react to Denver airport groping allegations

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two TSA agents at a Denver airport have been fired. Police say they conspired to allow one of the agents to grope male passengers during routine screening. Now-  people who fly are wondering; could the same thing happen here at home?

According to police reports, this isn’t the first time the alleged groping happened, but this time it was caught on camera. Despite the allegations, frequent travelers here at home say they’ll continue to fly.

For the Smith brothers, traveling out of Buffalo-Niagara is part of the job. They say hearing about these groping allegations, makes them uncomfortable.

Jim Smith from Angola says, “I don’t feel like I need to be frisked- I feel violated- I just want to move on and be done with it.” But his brother Jon Smith, also from Angola says, “Nothing surprises me anymore.”

But others say they’ve never felt TSA agents acted inappropriately at our local airport, and they are glad security is in place.

Marla Conigilo from Buffalo says, “I’ve never threatened or violated- and usually- it’s a woman. I’ve never felt threatened- I think it’s a one time thing that doesn’t affect other airports or security.”

Karen Colick from Buffalo says, “I’m glad there’s that type of security- to make sure everyone’s safe while flying. So I’m all for making sure that security is done.”

Police say the agents were manipulating screening systems to allow one male employee to fondle male passengers he found attractive.

This alleged groping incident has happened at least ten times at the Dennver airport, but this time, it was caught on camera. TSA isn’t releasing that video, but does say appropriate action is being taken.

In a statement to News 4, TSA says, “These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable. TSA has removed two officers from the agency. All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable.”

Both the TSA officer in question and his female accomplice have been fired from TSA. But no charges can be pursued because no alleged victims have come forward.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s