The security guard agrees the pants came off and were X-rayed. From there the stories diverge.
By Associated Press
Published August 13, 2003
FORT LAUDERDALE - The way Martin Holness tells it, an overzealous security guard at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ordered him to remove his pants, then fed them through an X-ray machine at a checkpoint as bystanders gawked.
The 34-year-old Miramar truck driver said he was humiliated when forced to stand with his gray and black boxer shorts on view before his July 17 trip to Chicago.
"Even when I got to Chicago, people from the flight were still looking at me like I was crazy," Holness said.
The guard's version: Holness became flustered after two quarters in the pocket of his sweat pants set off a metal detector, said he had "nothing to hide," pulled off the pants and handed them to the guard, saying, "Why don't you just X-ray them?"
According to the guard's written report, he said, "No, sir, that is not necessary," but Holness ignored him.
Lauren Stover, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said, "I'm 100 percent confident that we did not ask this man to take his pants off in full view of the public."
Stover said several witnesses corroborate the security guard's account. Although the guard should have requested a supervisor before the incident escalated, he wasn't reprimanded because he did "absolutely nothing" wrong, Stover said.
Holness said the incident began when he set off a walkthrough metal detector. A wand beeped as it passed over his pants pocket, but Holness couldn't find anything. He asked the guard to feel around in the pocket, and the guard couldn't find anything either.
"I said, "What do you want me to do?"' Holness recalled. "He said, "Why don't you take your pants off?"'
Holness said he complied, but under protest. "I asked them, "Don't you have a room for this? Some curtains?"'
He said the guard told him he would have his pants back before he missed them. The guard ran the pants through the X-ray machine, found the quarters, and returned the quarters and the pants.
Attorney Clement Dean said Holness is considering legal action.