Airport stripper files suit against the government

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - It was the strip tease seen all over America.

Aaron Tobey, a college student from Charlottesville stripped down to his boxer briefs while making his way through a TSA security screen at Richmond International Airport. His chest revealed a political statement about the 4th amendment.

The charges against him were dropped, but while the government is ready to move on, Tobey is now suing.

It's not just the Feds Tobey claims violated his constitutional rights. He is seeking $250,000 in damages from the TSA and local authorities. For Tobey and his legal team the case is clear cut.

"The fundamental reason is because of the constitution," said Tobey's attorney, John Whitehead from the Rutherford Group. His organization is a legal team that defends civil liberties cases for free. He claims the way his client was handled was unnecessary.

"There was nothing to indicate that he was any kind of a terrorist or anything," Whitehead said. "But they handcuffed him behind his back and interrogated him for 90 minutes."

But the college student's detractors say that he was just hoping to grab the spotlight, by wading into a hot button issue in such a dramatic way.

Whitehead doesn't deny that suing Homeland Security and the TSA is designed to specifically keep the story in the headlines, but claims that Tobey's motives are pure.

"Let's say he did do it for publicity reasons, well it's a darn good thing to publicize," he said.

And there is no doubt that this latest move will do just that.

And you can give us your take as well. Log on to the NBC12 facebook page and look for the uncut video of Tobey's protest and give your take in the comments.

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