Woman arrested for 'groping' airport security becomes passenger hero

Ruth Doherty

A 61-year-old American business woman has become an unlikely hero for air passengers worldwide after she was arrested for allegedly groping an airport security official.

Businesswoman Yukari Mihamae was accused of squeezing and twisting the breasts of a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at Phoenix's Sky Harbour Airport with both hands after refusing to comply with standard passenger screening procedures, according to the Associated Press.

But following Mihamae's arrest at Phoenix in the United States, a Facebook page, Acquit Yukari Mihamae, was set up to support the passenger who many see as standing up for all those who believe security procedures at US airports invade their privacy.

Ms Mihamae said she was fed up with being manhandled by airport security staff – and thousands of Facebook users have given her their backing, describing her as 'courageous' and 'a freedom fighter'.

Ms Mihamae was released on Friday and no charges have been filed.

This is the latest in a string of controversies for the TSA, which has been criticised in recent months for the invasiveness of its screening techniques, which include a pat-down of the groin, breasts and buttocks, and the use of controversial full body scanners.

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