Man Arrested After Ejaculating During TSA Pat-Down

Was an air traveler arrested after ejaculating during a TSA patdown?

Claim:   An air traveler was arrested for ejaculating during a TSA patdown.


FALSE


Example:   [Dead Serious News, November 2010]


A 47 year old gay man was arrested at San Francisco International Airport after ejaculating while being patted down by a male TSA agent. Percy Cummings, an interior designer from San Francisco, is being held without bail after the alleged incident, charged with sexually assaulting a Federal agent.

[Rest of article here.]



 

Origins:   Current events and fears often make for the most potent forms of satire, and hot on the heels of a vigorous debate in November 2010 over the forms and effectiveness of security measures employed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at U.S. airports came a few pieces of satire which hit so close to home that they were widely circulated as real news items. One (covered here in a separate article) involved a TSA agent allegedly caught pleasuring himself to images of airline travelers displayed on a body scanner, and the other (referenced above) described a gay man purportedly arrested for ejaculating while being patted down by a male TSA agent.

The multiple stereotypical gay references in the latter article (e.g., an interior designer named Percy Cummings being arrested at a San Francisco airport) should give the item away as a bit of humor rather than a real news account. But if additional proof be required, one need only note that this item originated on the Dead Serious News web site, whose About page notes that “Dead Serious News is a satirical website that is updated on an irregular basis. With the exception of the names of public figures, all names are fictional.”

In a follow-up piece also satirizing current events, Dead Serious News reported that “thousands of documents related to the recent arrest” of the aforementioned Percy Cummings would be released on the WikiLeaks web site.

Last updated:   2 December 2010

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes