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North Dakota lawmaker barred from flight following incident with Minot TSA agent

Rep. Jeff Hoverson
Rep. Jeff Hoverson(KFYR)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – A North Dakota lawmaker was barred from boarding a flight at Minot International Airport Monday, following an incident with a TSA agent.

Rep. Jeff Hoverson, R-Minot, said he and his wife were planning to travel Monday for their anniversary.

Hoverson told Your News Leader that a TSA agent who was giving him a pat down put his hand in the front pocket of Hoverson’s hoodie.

Hoverson said the agent said in advance he was going to do so, but did not ask permission.

Hoverson said he moved the agent’s hand away.

“It got that far, the embarrassment just caused me to just do kind of a natural, impulsive flinch, and move his hand away, and so, that I guess you’re not allowed to do. They called in a lot of supervisors and within a half hour, we were asked to leave, so we did peacefully,” said Hoverson.

Allegiant declined to comment on the specific incident but released the following statement:

“The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. With that in mind, our general practice would be to deny boarding to a passenger if they were being actively investigated by law enforcement for assaulting a TSA agent.”

In a statement to Your News Leader, the TSA said a pat down was initiated when the passenger set off the alarm in the screening machine.

The TSA said the passenger objected during the pat down and called the police, but eventually complied with the pat down, and the airline made the decision to deny boarding.

Your News Leader reached out to Minot Police, who declined to comment, as it is an active investigation.

Hoverson said he thinks all parties overreacted to the situation, including himself. He declined to comment on if Minot Police investigators have reached out to him.

Hoverson has served in the North Dakota House since 2019.

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