Pat-down protest: Passenger would rather strip than be searched - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pat-down protest: Passenger would rather strip than be searched

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - New airport screening procedures are creating a lot of backlash. One San Diego man took his opposition to full-body scanners and pat-downs to a new level.

Sam Wolanyk was arrested for stripping down to his underwear at Lindbergh Field last week.

"I had also gone through the pat-down the week before and it was extremely invasive, and I was determined to not do that again," he said.

The 40-year-old was heading out for a four-day trip to Barbados when he declined to go through a full-body scanner. As a TSA agent explained the pat-down procedure, Wolanyk took off his shirt and jeans and placed them on a table.

"I said 'I'm not refusing the process. I understand that you're supposed to pat down any anomalies that you see in clothing. There are no anomalies here,'" he said.

Wolanyk says a supervisor then told him to put his clothes back on so the agent could complete a proper pat-down, but Wolanyk refused.

"I said 'That's ridiculous, my clothes are right there, you can go through all of them, there's my bag, you can go thru that, whatever you need to do, I'll go thru the metal detector. But I'm not going to be felt up by somebody I don't know just to maintain the procedure,'" he said.

Harbor police took him away in his boxer briefs and have charged him with refusing to complete the security process and attempting to record the events on his iPhone.

TSA officials say the incident is not under investigation by their agency.

"It wasn't a matter of refusing to be screened; it was a refusal to put his clothing back on, and that's what he was taken into custody for. It's more of a law enforcement issue than a TSA issue," TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez said.

Regardless of what happens legally, Wolanyk says he has no regrets about opting out of the full-body screening, or his clothes.

"If I had to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing," he said.

Wolanyk is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 7, and is currently trying to raise money to help pay for his legal defense.

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