TSA Agent Makes Ill Woman, 95, Take Off Diaper

Monday, 27 Jun 2011 01:45 PM

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A Florida woman has filed a complaint with federal officials, alleging that an airport security agent demanded that her 95-year-old mother, who is battling leukemia and was in a wheelchair, remove an adult diaper for a pat-down search.

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” said an exasperated and repulsed Jane Weber, according to nwfdailynews.com. www.nwfdailynews.com/news/mother-41324-search-adult.html “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

Weber, of Destin, filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security over the June 18 incident at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport, when her mother was boarding a plane to Michigan to be with family members during her final stages of leukemia.

Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said she could not comment on individual cases to protect the privacy of those involved.

“The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” she said.

Weber said her mother entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk, Weber said.

Wheelchairs trigger specific procedures, including pat-downs and possible swabbing for explosives, Koshetz said. “During any part of the process, if there is an alarm, then we have to resolve that alarm,” she said.

Weber said she did not know whether her mother had triggered an alarm during the 45 minutes they were detained. She was required to take her mother into a restroom and remove the diaper.

After she the response to her first complaint, to the airport, unsatisfactory, Weber said she plans to file more complaints higher up the chain.

“I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong,” Weber said. “People need to know. Next time it could be you.”

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