95-year-old retired Air Force Major loses $300 during upsetting encounter with TSA agents

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - "I'm 95-years-old. She's 85-years-old. What the heck is going on here? Do I look like a terrorist," exclaimed Omer Petti when telling Action News about an upsetting encounter with TSA agents on his way back to Metro-Detroit.

With knee and hip replacements, Petti and his companion, Madge Woodward, expected to set off an alarm when going through security in San Diego before boarding their flight, but what they say they got was a hassle from TSA agents that resulted in $300 in cash being stolen from a bin.

Petti, a retired Air Force Major, says he has no idea if security or another passenger took his money that a TSA agent told him to place in a bin on the screening belt.

Petti says he had already removed the metal money clip and placed the cash in his pocket when an agent insisted he put the cash and some tissue in a bin as well.

After Petti was told that his clothing tested positive for nitrates, he was led to a back room where a TSA agent patted him down.

A female TSA agent also gave Woodward a thorough pat-down.

The two call the scrutinizing pat-downs "humiliating".

When agents told the couple they could finally proceed to board their flight, the money Petti says he placed in a bin was gone.

Days later, Petti says authorities told him that the surveillance video was too blurry to see what happened to his money.

Petti has filed a complaint with TSA officials.

Jim Fotenos, from the TSA's office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, told 7 Action News in a statement, "TSA takes all passengers claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed.  TSA in San Diego has been in contact with the passenger and will communicate the findings directly to the individual".

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