A second elderly woman has come forward to say she was strip searched by Transportation Security Administration agents at Kennedy Airport.
Ruth Sherman, 88, told the Daily News she felt “degraded” after screeners at the JetBlue terminal took her to a private area to check the bulge from her colostomy bag.
“They made me pull down my sweatpants and my underwear,” the Sunrise, Fla., widow said in a phone interview Monday.
“I couldn’t believe it. I said, as a joke, ‘I don’t have a bomb in there.’”
Sherman said the agents let her pull down the clothing herself, but the experience left her shaken.
“I went on the flight and my eyes were crying all the time,” she said. “I was degraded.”
Sherman had spent the Thanksgiving holiday with her son, Ralph, in New York, and was flying back home on Nov. 28 when the incident occurred.
“We called at night to make sure she got home all right and she was in tears and told us the story,” Ralph Sherman said.
He said family members contacted JetBlue and were told the airline has nothing to do with screening and they needed to complain to the TSA, a federal agency.
At that point, he said, his mother dropped the issue — until she saw a story about
Lenore Zimmerman, 85, of Long Beach, L.I., who had a similar ordeal at the same terminal.
Zimmerman said that on Nov. 29 two female agents escorted her to a private room, pulled down her pants and asked her to raise her arms.
In a statement, the TSA said both incidents are under review
, but a preliminary investigation “indicates all screening procedures were followed” — including a ban on “strip searches.’
However, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein would not provide the agency’s definition of a strip search or say if the agents had Sherman drop her pants and undergarments.
“Our officers are committed to treating every passenger with dignity and respect,” the statement said.
Zimmerman has said she may sue the TSA. Sherman said she’s not interested in a lawsuit.
“I don’t want to relive it,” she said.
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