Another Elderly Woman, 88-Year-Old Bubby Sherman, Says She Was Exposed At Kennedy Airport

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jfk-airportLenore Zimmerman, 85, was angry and embarrassed after what she claims was a strip search at Kennedy Airport Tuesday. Now another woman in her 80′s at the very same terminal says she was exposed one day before.

From her home in Sunrise, Florida, 88-year-old Ruth Sherman says she knows for a fact senior citizens are being violated at a screening checkpoint at JFK.

“I felt like I was invaded,” she told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.

Sherman says week-long Thanksgiving holiday with family in New York ended with an ordeal that started when the screeners wanted to check the bulge from Sherman’s colostomy bag.

“This is private for me. It’s bad enough that I have it,” she said.

“You don’t do that anybody,” she added. “I felt like I was invaded.”

She says she initially complained to JetBlue and told her family, but is now going public after watching Zimmerman on television, recounting a frighteningly similar tale of what she says was her strip search, at the same JetBlue terminal at JFK, one day later.

“They decide this 85-year-old lady needs to be strip searched,” Zimmerman said. “After they patted me down, they took me into a private room and they strip searched me. I said ‘why are you strip searching me? Do I like look a terrorist’?” she said.

Zimmerman, who lives most of the year in Long Beach, Nassau County and spends the winters in South Florida, says she will sue the Transportation Security Agency. She said she wanted a patdown, that her defibrillator is why she cannot go through the machine, but that she never expected a strip search.

The TSA released a statement Sunday, apologizing to Zimmerman but disputing her story.

“TSA contacted the passenger to apologize that she feels she had an unpleasant screening experience; however, TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case,” the statement read.

State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens wonders how the TSA can be so sure. He says with no cameras in the private screening rooms, it is a screener’s word against the passenger’s.

“It’s outrageous,” he said. “What they need to find out is exactly what happened and if someone crossed the line they need to be penalized.”

“I missed my flight and I had to wait two and a half hours for the next one,” Zimmerman said.

When she finally made it to her winter home in Coconut Creek, Florida, she called her son Bruce in Long Beach, Nassau County, who told CBS 2 the family plans to sue the TSA.

“I do want them to have some sort of consequence. I think the two agents that escorted or initiated the strip search should be terminated,” Bruce Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman will return to New York in early April, but admits that she is nervous after her experience.

Both Sherman and Zimmerman say many times seniors are too cooperative and afraid to speak up when humiliated. Sherman wants that to change.

CBS 2 contacted a TSA spokesman about Ruth Sherman’s alleged strip search and were told only that the TSA will research this new case.

{1010 WINS/ Newscenter}


  1. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE THINGS THE FBI DOES WITH X-RAY CAPABILITY FROM SATELLITES? YOU CANNOT IMAGINE. I know a goy who worked on the program. This person recently lost his leg in New Jersey and is in a wheel chair permanently.

  2. you have the option of not traveling by air oe should we risk another attack and all you fakers will be attacking the government for not p-rotedting us
    every time i come in i get stopped evem with security cleare

  3. #4 C’mon now, these women are obviously NOT terrorists.I think what they have to do is allow someone to have their own personal escort until they go through screening just to make sure passengers are not being violated.Otherwise it’s TSA’s word against the passenger’s.

  4. Hey #4 the TSA never actually caught any terrorist. Their “system” is very very flawed.

    We should be able to fly without harrasment

  5. Unfortunately, TSA only made you take off your shoes after the shoe bomber, and started screening and patdowns after someone hid something inside his clothes. So yes TSA is credited for preempting elderly ladies from Florida from bringing in a defibrilator. Btw they checked my babies bottle just in case the milk was really dangerous chemicals.(liquids are yet another example of after-the-fact). Like my grandmother would say, zeher moyach is geshtopt mit chazzer!

  6. they are being checked by other woman there is nothing wrong by halacha for a woman to be screened by another woman and it is not a breach of tznius

  7. a tsa agent checked what was in my bag bec. it was heavy. i called the airline b-4 i came to the airport & he said that carry on bags have no weight limit as long as ai fits in the over head bin so why are these tsa people making me crazy?


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