Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tigger deserves a long overdue apology!

Probably no other airport in the world has more adolescent travelers, from all points on this planet, than Orlando International Airport in Florida. The Central Florida location is recognized as 'the theme park capital of the world.'

In February of 2004, an actor portraying the popular childrens character of Tigger, was accused, arrested and charged with 'lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 years old and one count of simple battery.'

An account of the incident was reported in an April 4, 2004 edition of the Orlando Sentinal, written by staffer Anthony Colarossi. The original offering can be found here: (Link not supported. Copy and Paste to read original article)

By substituting a few words in Colarossi's account of this incident, you can easily see why today's physical contact with young children by TSA agents are far more invasive and insidious than any innocent contact made by falsely accused Tigger.

My embellished version of Colarossi's story reads as follows:

'Orange County Sheriff's Office investigators have arrested a TSA employee who worked as an agent/inspector and charged him with molesting a 13-year-old girl and her mother while performing a search on them prior to their flight in February.
Handy Andy, 36, was charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 years old and one count of simple battery.
He was booked into the Orange County Jail today on a $2,500 bond.

A TSA spokeswoman said Andy has been suspended without pay.

The sheriff's office received a complaint that a TSA agent at Orlando International Airport had touched a girl and her mother inappropriately while searching them prior to having their full body scan on Feb. 21. According to an incident report, Andy fondled the breasts of the girl and the mother, before their scan at the Orlando facility.

"As the scan was being administered, [the victim] claims that Andy
moved his right hand up to her right breast and started massaging it several times," the incident report states. [The victim] became very embarrassed and ashamed of the incident and claims that she did not say anything to her mother until they arrived at the departure gate."
Later, the girl learned that the agent had done the same thing to her mother with his left hand, the report says.

In a charging affidavit filed in court, police wrote that Andy told them he had trouble remembering things, but was "very sorry for everything that had occurred," and hoped the victim would forgive him for what he had done.

The girl and her father reported the incident on Feb. 29.'


As a footnote to the original story.....the actor portraying Tigger was cleared of these charges.....
One might question whether any verdict against an accused TSA agent might have the same exonerating results!

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