Man poses as TSA screener at SFO, may have groped women

Thursday, July 17, 2014
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TSA screeners caught a man posing as one of them at San Francisco International Airport and he may have used the disguise to grope women.

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- A Bay Area business executive was arrested at San Francisco International Airport. Eric Slighton is charged with being drunk in public, but investigators are looking into whether he groped women while allegedly posing as an impostor TSA agent.

Investigators believe the man did pat down two female passengers, but unfortunately, they got on flights before investigators could interview them. Sources tell ABC7 News they believe the women were from Asia and that they did not understand what the TSA policy is on pat downs.

SFO passenger Claire Spickermann said, "I would ask for a female security guard because I know I can do that."

Spickermann knows her rights. The TSA says anytime they search a female traveler in the private room, they require two screeners of the same gender. But two unsuspecting female travelers did not know that.

It happened just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, just past the TSA security checkpoint. Slighton had checked in early for his trip to Hong Kong where a police source says he lives. After passing security, the 53-year-old financier reportedly spent time at one of the bars.

Sources tell us, he was wearing khaki pants and a dark polo shirt, which could have been mistaken for a TSA uniform. Those same sources say he positioned himself behind the row of TSA screeners as he lured a female traveler into a small room where some passengers undergo more thorough checks.

Our sources say they believe he patted her down. After she left, he reportedly brought another Woman into the room.

This time, he caught the eye of a real TSA agent who confronted him and detained him until police arrived.

Most of the women travelers we spoke with believe they too would probably fall for the ruse.

"Oh yeah, you're dealing with security right? You don't want to you know contradict a command or order," San Francisco airport passenger Marion Glenn said.

Others we spoke to say the real concern was the lack of vigilance by the real TSA screeners.

SFO Passenger Hilary Paulson said, "How could it even happen? That he could get into a private screening room? So that to me was more worrisome, that they didn't know their own employees and what was going on."

Sleighton is an international financier who works for Aktis Singapore. His resume includes Barclays Capitol Hong Kong, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Commira E-Solutions which he co-founded. He'll be arraigned next month.