LONGMONT, Colo. — Yukari Miyamae, who got into an altercation with TSA agents at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on July 14, may face a civil penalty of thousands of dollars.
The 61-year-old Colorado resident has been commuting from Denver to Phoenix every week. She says that on the day in question, she asked to go through a metal detector rather than a full-body scanner because she was concerned about radiation exposure, and was immediately surrounded by TSA agents.
Although she was initially accused of grabbing and twisting a TSA agent’s breast, Miyamae claims she felt threatened and simply pushed away an agent who was invading her space. She also says she has had an aversion to being touched by strangers since she was kidnapped as a child in Japan.
The City of Phoenix decided not to charge Miyamae with sexual assault but has not yet made a decision about whether to charge her with a misdemeanor.
In a recent post on her Facebook page (Yukari Miyamae Legal Defense Fund), she wrote, “The TSA recently sent me a letter asking for my response as they consider whether to assess a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for my alleged violation of 49 C.F.R. sec. 1540.09, which states that ‘No person may interfere with, assault, threaten or intimidate screening personal in the performance of their screening duties.’
“I am very concerned about this possible fine. I am hopeful that the TSA will be understanding and realize that there are mitigating circumstances due to my personal experiences. I had never before been arrested or charged with a crime and did not intend to assault or threaten anyone … I have already been punished by being arrested and jailed and still face possible criminal charges, not to mention how my reputation has been damaged by the false and misleading news coverage.
“I have been told by my lawyer that an assessment of a civil fine by the TSA remains very possible.”
Miyamae added that her response to the TSA will include a report from a clinical psychologist that she hired.