BOULDER, Colo. — Yukari Miyamae, who was arrested on July 14 after an altercation with TSA agents at Phoenix’s airport, gave her account of what happened in an interview broadcast July 27 on community radio station KGNU.
Among other details, Miyamae, 61, told the interviewer, who is known as Shelley the Radio Lady, about being abducted at age 7 in Japan and having an aversion to being touched by strangers.
Miyamae, who is a volunteer at KGNU, lives in Colorado but has been commuting to Arizona for a job. She says the incident began when she asked to go through a regular metal detector because she feared radiation exposure from the full-body scanner, then was told that she had to undergo a pat-down.
She was initially accused of sexual assault because she allegedly grabbed a TSA agent’s breast. However, prosecutors declined to charge her with a felony, and misdemeanor charges are pending. Miyamae maintains that she panicked when several agents approached her and pushed the one closest to her.
“But even faster than the charges were dismissed, reporters around the world started writing about the incident, and many groups launched campaigns supporting Yukari, including Facebook pages calling for her acquittal and a legal defense fund,” said the interviewer, who is a friend of Miyamae. “Yukari’s story had struck a nerve with people who fear that the effort to make airport passengers safe from terrorists has left many travelers feeling unsafe about how they’re screened.”
To hear the interview, go here: