A planned anniversary trip for a Minot man and his wife was grounded at the Minot International Airport earlier this week.
Rep. Jeff Hoverson, R-Dis. 3, Minot, was pulled out of the passenger screening line where he and his wife intended to board an Allegiant Airlines flight to Phoenix, Arizona. Hoverson said when he went through the body scanner it “had me pretty lit up. That made me jittery, and I felt like a criminal.”
Hoverson was wearing a hoodie with a front handwarmer pocket. In the pocket was his cellular phone cord and charger, which was detected by the scanner. When a Transportation Security Administration agent reached into the pocket of the hoodie, Hoverson said he pushed the agent’s hand away.
“That’s when I learned you don’t do that to a TSA agent,” said Hoverson. “I was pretty embarrassed. Really embarrassed.”
"My perspective is, we all overreacted, myself included."Rep. Jeff Hoverson, R-Dis. 3, Minot
According to Hoverson, the TSA agent backed away from him and called a supervisor.
“They said you can’t fly today, and we have to escort you out,” said Hoverson. “My perspective is, we all overreacted, myself included.”
Minot Police were called and investigated the incident. As of late Thursday no charges had been filed.
Federal law prohibits “interfering with airport screeners” and can impose fines for interference. TSA’s website advises to “never touch a TSA official” and, according to TSA guidelines, interfering with a TSA agent is “punishable by a fine of $500 to $5,000," with the possibility of larger fines imposed if a defendant touches a TSA agent.