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Judge Asked To Dismiss Patdown Lawsuit

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 11 (UPI) — Attorneys for the Richmond, Va., International Airport and a man who claimed airport security violated his rights argued whether the case should be dismissed.

Federal attorneys argued security personnel at a checkpoint acted properly, while the attorney representing 21-year-old Aaron Tobey of Charlottesville, Va., said security personnel went too far by detaining Tobey for at least 90 minutes with his hands cuffed behind his back, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Thursday.

“This was one long process to determine if this gentleman was a security risk,” Tobey’s attorney, Anand Agneshwar, told U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson sitting in Richmond during Wednesday’s hearing.

Hudson said planned to rule on the defendants’ motion to dismiss within two weeks. He also set Jan. 18 for trial.

In his lawsuit, Tobey claims that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and airport officials violated his constitutional rights in the airport.

He stripped to his socks and underwear Dec. 30 to protest airport security procedures as unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but Henrico County authorities dropped the charge.

The defense said federal and airport officials worked appropriately to ensure security during the holiday travel season.

The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and violations of Tobey’s rights under several constitutional amendments. It seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages, legal fees and more training for TSA employees.

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