TSA Claims It Will Stop Targeting Elderly Airline Passengers

May 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The US government is easing the airport screening process for travelers 75 and older, beginning to roll out new rules just in time for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, an official said Friday.

From this weekend the elderly will no longer have to doff shoes, belts and jackets as they pass through security checkpoints at New York’s three major airports: John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia, and Newark Liberty.

The Transportation Security Administration has said rollout of the new measures to the rest of the country could follow.

“Seventy-five-plus is in the process of being rolled out and customers will see it over the course of the summer and beyond,” said David Castelveter, chief spokesman of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Castelveter said he did not have a precise timetable, but the New York rollout was expected to occur through the upcoming three-day weekend that unofficially kicks off the US summer vacation season.

The 75-plus measures have already been successfully tested in the Chicago, Denver, Orlando and Portland airports.

Last September the TSA decided to allow children 12 and under to pass through screening without removing their shoes.

The enhanced TSA airport screening was established after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States in which the attackers used airplanes as weapons.

The Al-Qaeda attacks claimed 2,976 lives in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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TSA Apologizes After Humiliating Strip Searches Of Sick Elderly Women At Kennedy Airport

January 18, 2012

NEW YORK – In an about-face, the feds have admitted wrongdoing in the cases of two elderly women who say they were strip-searched at Kennedy Airport by overzealous screeners.

Federal officials had initially insisted that all “screening procedures were followed” after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with separate accounts of humiliating strip searches.

But in a letter obtained by the Daily News, the Homeland Security Department acknowledges that screeners violated standard practice in their treatment of the ailing octogenarians last November.

Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Betsy Markey concedes to state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) that Sherman was forced to show security agents her colostomy bag — a violation of policy.

“It is not standard operating procedure for colostomy devices to be visually inspected, and [the Transportation Security Administration\] apologizes for this employee’s action,” Markey wrote.

The letter says that Sherman, who uses a wheelchair, was escorted into a private area after she voluntarily lowered her pants to show screeners the device.

In the private room, she was patted down and told to show agents the colostomy bag, the letter says.

Markey still maintained that the Florida-based Sherman was never asked to remove her clothing.

“They asked me to pull my sweatpants down, and now they’re not telling you the truth,” Sherman fumed Monday.

Markey also denied that Zimmerman had been strip-searched, but did apologize for the conduct of a TSA agent who violated policy by scanning the Long Island granny’s back brace.

Zimmerman had told The News two female agents removed her clothes — instead of just patting her down — after she revealed that she was wearing a defibrillator.

“They’re lying,” said Zimmerman. “I don’t have a problem with [screeners checking\] the back brace. I have a problem with being strip-searched.”

Gianaris, who wrote to the TSA requesting a full investigation, said the feds’ account is still full of holes.

“It’s obvious that something went wrong, so its nice to see the TSA admit that their procedures were violated,” Gianaris said, “but they’re still falling short of admitting that these women’s dignity was violated by asking them to remove their clothes.”

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Former Chicago Police Officer Donald Owsley Convicted Of Ripping Off Elderly Man’s $500,000 House And $400,000 In Cash

April 22, 2011

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A former Chicago police officer has been found guilty of bilking a 90-year-old man out of a $500,000 home and $400,000 in cash and investments.

Cook County Judge Timothy Joyce on Thursday found 63-year-old Donald Owsley guilty of financial exploitation of the elderly and forgery.

Prosecutors say Owsley befriended Theodore Hoellen and in 2001 persuaded him to sign over his Chicago home. Hoellen also gave Owsley control over $400,000 in bank accounts and a death benefit.

Hoellen, who was suffering from dementia when he signed over his property, has since died.

According to court records, 90-year-old Hector LeFleur signed his property over to Owsley in 1999. However, LeFleur’s family sued and the property was returned to his estate.

Owsley wasn’t prosecuted in the case because of the statute of limitations.

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