Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Year Old Boy In Wheelchair Frisked On Way To Disney

All caught on tape is this 3 year old boy with a broken leg who is in a wheelchair being frisked by a TSA agent while the boy is scared out of his mind. The worst part? The boy wanted his parents to hold his hand but they were not allowed. Oh, and get this. If you have $100 you can now skip the pat downs and also bring liquids on the plane. Umm, so this is really just all a big shakedown for money?

61 comments:

Vicki Cupper said...

Of course it is. I'm really surprised that asshole didn't force the kids cast off and then make him crawl through the metal detector.

Comma Chaser said...

What a blue ribbon tool. I absolutely hate the TSA guys. The epitome of Jobsworths.

Jesse D said...

This infuriates me no end. My girls have been instructed to scream at the top of their lungs "DON'T TOUCH ME, GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, RAPE!!!" if someone other than mama touches them. I wonder how well that would go over.

Vicki Cupper said...

Jesse, you're daughters would probably be treated as hostile insurgents and put on some no-fly list. I fucking hate the TSA.

selenakyle said...

Thanks to Bush and his GD Patriot Act whereby we all lost a shitload of personal freedom.

I occasionally go outside flipping the bird to the sky yelling EFF YOU because big bro is watching and listening. Hell, they're reading my comment right now, I'll betcha.

I do not think one undies bomb is going to REALLY harm our National Security, because, if our Nat'l Security really, truly hinges on ONE measly airplane going down (yes, with a couple hundred citizens dying) then we all should just go run amok in a crime spree, because it means our Gov't and our defense ain't worth a shit.

Think about it.

evergrey said...

I hate the TSA - that fact that so many Americans don't like the way TSA is run or want to restructure it so it no longer infringes on our rights and yet here it is - still existing makes me feel like we're living in a totalitarian gov't... In regards to TSA. Grrr.

evergrey said...

@selenakyle - amen.

I also think that after leaving the above comment, I'll be placed on some list and be "randomly" frisked next time I fly. Big brother is watching! ;)

Fijigrrl said...

UGH. Really TSA? A parent couldn't hold the hand of their CHILD!?!!

Frufra said...

Can't say how I know this, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that the TSA regularly fails random contraband smuggling tests performed by plainclothed federal agents. It is fact.

The hoops they make us jump through are simply to create the illusion of safety.

Comma Chaser said...

I came back and showed this video to a friend of mine who has a little boy roughly the same age as this guy. She was pretty stunned/pissed off.

Sorta throwing this out to the group at large - why doesn't the government create a no-fly list, then simply require passengers to bring a passport that would be barcoded? I'd gladly pay a nominal fee a year to have something like a commercial fliers license/permit/whatever. (Don't judge too harshly - I spent a staggering 20 seconds coming up with this idea).

Back to my feral cats/later.
,,,,,,

AM said...

I think this dad has handled this very well. He hasn't screamed or shouted or been pissy (although it certainly would not have been unreasonable for him to get vocally annoyed). He's just made sure he's got it all on tape and well documented, while knowing exactly what he's going to do with the footage. The kind of rational, reasonable, logical, unconfrontational person who is quite clearly a terrorist and raising his three-year-old in the same way!

The TSA man really must have borderline intelligence. He must... someone can't be this dumb and just be normal, can they!?

MadLyb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadLyb said...

The TSA needs to make their quota, and this is why I don't feel all that secure. Common sense doesn't seem to factor in. Then again, this is what happens in a country where most people don't vote and their is a large amount of apathy among even those who do vote. There is a lot of money to be made via wars on drugs and terror and such.

EmEyeKay said...

@Frufra - I agree that it's for the illusion of safety. We're not safe. 9/11 made people realize that we've just been "lucky".

Doesn't surprise me a bit that they fail the tests. I've flown with plenty of contraband, pre-9/11 (on purpose) and post (accidentally).

selenakyle said...

Exactly @MadLyb--they certainly won't legalize weed (thus ending a lot of cartel violence immediately) while there is such a big "war on whatever" budget to lose in the process.

Heaven forbid!

Same with the warmongers getting kickbacks from all the gun dealers, helmet-makers, food/provision purveyors...on down the line...saying "Oh no, we can't possibly end our stay in Afghanistan, NOT while we're getting filthy rich off it!"

It's a disgusting sham.

MISCH said...

Flying sucks now.......

notawriter said...

Although I think this was unnecessary, I also think everyone is being a bit harsh toward the TSA agent. He seems to be very gentle and soft spoken with the little guy and trying hard not to scare him too much. I have a boy just a little younger than this, and while I would hate for him to have to go through this, it seems like the agent is trying his best not to make it worse.
Also, my brother has that job (although in Canada, so the rules are a bit different) and it's not exactly a fun job for them. They're doing what they have to do and people are horrible to them all the time. I just don't think it's fair to pick on this one guy.

Chrissy Buns said...

This is just horrid. That poor, poor baby and his parents. I am a very calm, cool, chill type of person by nature, , but if I went through something like this with one of my kids, I do believe I would spazz out. I also hate the fact that society has gotten so bad that there is an agency that feels the need to treat people this way. I need to go back to my happy place now...

timebob said...

I got roped into one of those "extra pat downs" I was exhuasted just trying to go home from LA to NY and just found out my flight had been delayed by 10 hours.

I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and the TSA agent was so kind to me. She made the whole thing bearable and I really felt better after so I can't really complain. Though it does feel like an invasion of privacy they are doing their jobs.

The agent wasn't being a dick and was trying to make it the best possible scenario for the child. Blame the Gov't not the agents.

I hadn't heard of the $100 fee to skip all this. If this is true, then it is a shakedown for sure.

Chrissy Buns said...

@timebob, thanks for sharing a good experience, I was beginning to think these agents were the second coming of Nazi's...

Beth said...

Frufra, this has been widely publicized that they fail. There was an interesting video posted (will try to find it) showing how easy it is to sneak things through, even with the full on body scanners.

The kicker is that Israel, which has the best security in the world, thinks that the US has taken the wrong approach to all of this.

I think the $100 refers to the frequent flyer TSA program. However, it requires stringent background checks by the government. I wasn't aware that it waived the liquid restrictions, which the TSA ignores anyway unless you have water in front of them

Beth said...

...best airport security...

Beth said...

This has a blogger showing how the full body scans are far from fool proof.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/03/07/breaking-tsa-nude-body-scanners-rendered-worthless-by-blogger/

surfer said...

Recently, I set off the alarm when I stepped through the machine, so next thing I know, I'm getting a pat down. I saw the agent go for a new pair of gloves and thought to myself, uh oh. Although she was very polite and professional, she never actually said she was going to pat me down. In a nanosecond, her hands were all over my body. It took all of two minutes, and then it was over.

It's really invasive and unnerving when people you don't know can touch your body without fear of reprisal. And if we open up our mouths and say something, we're setting ourselves up for a strip search.

It's crappy any way you slice it, but I guess for the time being, this is the price we have to pay if we want to fly.

Lori said...

It's the TSA agent's JOB to do this...don't blame him. Blame the people that make the regulations that require him to frisk the boy. If you don't like it, vote, write a congressperson, protest, etc etc. I think he was very professional and performed his job in the least invasive way possible.

We all know that going through
TSA checks is an inevitable part of flying. This means all of us get checked, even children and the elderly. You know if they started waiving through people in wheelchairs, (or with canes, walkers, etc) and someone in one actually had explosives (which would be pretty smart since there are many places to hide them on a wheelchair), the first thing people would do is start shouting about how TSA should've done their jobs and thoroughly checked the chair. They really cant win.

Anonymous said...

Beth, are you thinking of the Nexus pass? I don't know too much about it but I know it's a way to speed up border crossing between Canada and the US. But I'm pretty sure they don't just hand those out.

I'm kind of torn on this. Although all the extra security sucks, there's hell to pay when something goes wrong so they're in a real damned if they do, damned if they don't situation.

Beth said...

Lori, it's there job, but they don't necessarily do it effectively. And the procedures they use have been criticized by experts across the board as unnecessarily invasive.

Beth said...

anita_mark, I'm not sure if this is called the Nexus pass. It is it the same concept. It involves interviews and a full background check.

surfer said...

anita_mark: I looked into the Nexus pass - first thing you should know is it's only worthwhile to get if you travel a lot. There is a fee and background check involved.

Here in Ontario, you can also get an enhanced driver's license (for an extra $50 I think) that I believe has a chip. I only think this is only for crossing into the States by land.

Lori said...

It is called TSA PreCheck...it is free and people with Nexus, Global Entry, or Sentri passes are eligible to sign up, as are other groups like active military. Most of the people in my agency have it and it does speed up travel, however, you are still subject to random searches or pat downs.

Lori said...

@Beth-- I am not advocating the procedures that the TSA employs, but the man is following the instructions that he has received and has been told are necessary to perform his duty as a TSA agent. It doesnt matter if other experts or laypersons are critical of the procedures, they are a requirement of his job. Again, if you dont like it, or any of us dont like it, we should be demanding changes from those in a position to make them...not blaming a man like this who is merely performing the job he was hired to carry out.

selenakyle said...

I'm not blaming the employees themselves (never even watched the video)--a sucky job is still a job and someone's gotta do it. Amen for people having a job at all.

The Patriot Act as a whole is stupid as shit.

Lizzie said...

I'm sickened by this story. Poor little guy!

Anonymous said...

@Surfer, I thought that licence thing was a myth. I don't know if I'd bother though, whenever I cross by land, it's never really a hassle. It only sucks when there are crazy long lines or at the toll bridge where everyone is too stupid to have their change ready.

But yeah, I don't travel enough to require one. A friend has it and she loves it but she flies to the States a lot.

Wine Dames said...

Sorry Selene - I hate Bush as much as anyone, but the Patriot Act extension was signed under Obama. This isn't a Bush issue any longer...

Texshan said...

A couple of years ago I took my mom to a resort in Hot Springs for a week, and we flew there because I f*cking hate driving.

The TSA person did a, to my mind, really OTT pat-down of my mom at the Houston airport. My mother is a lovely, soft-spoken, grey-haired Southern lady in her 60s who is handicapped and uses a wheelchair. As soon as the TSA person found out that she wasn't actually a paraplegic, she made my mom stand up and did a whole NEW invasive pat-down, while my mom stood there wavering back and forth with her arms held out, trying not to fall down. It went on forever and was ridiculous. I went through the regular line w/o any problem and then had to stand and wait while Ms. Grabby went to second base with my mother and then did all kinds of surface tests to her wheelchair. Needless to say, I got pissy and started making snotty comments (don't ask me how my mom had a kid like me). When my mother eventually almost fell, I said "That's it! She's been checked out enough! Mom, sit down and let's go." Strangely enough, I was not immediately hustled away. I think the other TSA people thought the agent was being ridiculous, too.

On the way back, we breezed though the Little Rock airport with hardly any security whatsoever. Go figure.

msgirl said...

For some insane reason the TSA goes after disabled people with mobility equipment. Once I started have to use a cane, I've been marked out as suspicious every time. In the US that is, not the 2 times I was in Europe. Entering customs was another story, my luggage was thoroughly gone thru, etc.

Jennifer H. said...

In store loss prevention, the strollers, baby carriers, wheel chairs, and casts are what store security targets specifically because those are good hiding places. It is no different here. I can't watch the video right now, but if the agent is courteous and professional, then I don't see a problem.

Now the Patriot Act in general, I don't like at all!

Mari said...

The problem with mobility equipment is that it can be packed with C4 the problem with terrorists is that they have strapped suicide belts (misnomer) to disabled people and sent them to public places the bigger problem is the way the TSA agents go about the job and the way people are selected. As mentioned before the Israelis have perfected body language and interview but those people are trained soldiers and sad to say TSA are not, contract hires who're not the police aren't the same thing. Having said that, I feel for the little guy and the TSA guy I think BOTH were miserable.

JustJen said...

Texshan -- My mother is in the same boat as yours. She uses a wheelchair to get through security because she can't stand in the lines and walks with a cane. She also wears special braces and shoes but she CAN walk and we all joke about her "special" status with the TSA. She gets the royal treatment every time we travel. Sometimes they throw in a pat down on me as a two-fer...you know, in case I'm part of her terrorist network. ;)

About this, and that little boy, all I can say is...I get annoyed, yes, but then I try to remember those poor people on 9/11 and I am thankful that they are so careful. We are talking about a culture that regularly straps explosives to children. Is it really that far fetched to think that they would stuff some into a child's cast?

All of you who would be so "outraged" -- think about it. If you saw some traditionally dressed middle eastern people wheeling someone, child or not, onto a plane...would it cross your mind that they might be packing some C4? And we are still in the US so if a wheelchair-bound person of Arab descent, American or not, child or not, would be subject to additional scrutiny, then EVERY wheelchair bound person is subject to additional scrutiny.

Do they find everything? Hell no. I can't tell you how many things I've gotten through security post-911. But I do TRY to remember to adhere to the guidelines and so I have to think that the possibility of being caught deters some terrorist activity.

It's not personal and it's meant to make air travel safer. If nothing else, it's meant to make us THINK it's safer and prevent the complete collapse of the airline industry.

I don't know...sometimes it seems like we want things a certain way in America (like safe air travel) but then we get mad at those who provide it. I'm not excusing rudeness but when was the last time you thanked a TSA agent? (For doing their job? How silly!!! @@ ) I work with the public too and people don't hesitate to treat you like garbage if you do something they don't like. And the thank yous are very few and very far between, even when they are deserved.

Texshan said...

I understand the point re: mobility equipment being used for explosives, but there comes a point in time where it's just ridiculous. This TSA agent acted as if my mom was in full habib screaming "Allah akbar!" in the security line.

JustJen said...

OK...I just finished watching this and the dad is kind of a dick. The whole process took what, 3 minutes? That's how long his video is...that's nothing, dude. My mother has to take off her shoes, both braces and go through the pat down with hand swab. We add about 20 minutes on to our airport time for that.

His kid is "trembling with fear"? Really? How about TALKING to him instead of filming it? How about distracting him by asking him about his favorite Disney character or having a family singalong with his favorite Disney song? It's 3 minutes....really?

And I used to live in Chicago...in my experience, their TSA agents are professional, courteous and fast. They are the only ones who "quarantined" my lip gloss. My $20 Clinique lip gloss...brand new. Not that I'm bitter...

And you know what? I'm damn glad to lose my lip gloss or help my disabled mother with her braces every damn time I travel if it saves just one f'in plane. If it saves just one family from going through what all of those 911 families went through. That was HORRIBLE and those people are still recovering...10 years later.

It's 3 damn minutes dude. Shut up about it.

Sherry said...

I think the whole point is that the TSA should be willing to use some common sense and figure out that the possibility a 3 year old boy is a terrorist is stupid. Ditto on dottering old ladies in wheelchairs with colostmy bags. No matter how kind and gentle it is, it's a waste of time that wopuld be better spent on real potentials for a crime.

Stephanie said...

Yes, it is a HUGE shakedown for money.
Do you see how much it is to get a passport these days?

$110 for renewals
$135 for new passports.

And now, if you want to get through the line fast, another $100? Oh please. And why pat down a 3 year old. This is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly sure that three year old boys and dottering old ladies in wheelchairs with colostomy bags are not usually terrorists. However, those who are terrorists have no problem at all with using children and the elderly to accomplish their mission. If they were willing to fly two jets into the WTC, planting a bomb on a toddler would not be a problem for them.

I did not hear, in the video, the dad asking if he could be beside the child. Maybe he asked...but he wasn't doing a great deal to defuse the situation. The TSA guy seemed like he was trying to make it as gentle and easy as he could. It's just his job. He probably hates this part of it too.

All that said...I hate the idea of flying any more, it's such a hassle and so expensive and I just don't think I'll ever go anywhere again. Last time I flew...about 6 years ago, so I was 63 years old...my driver's license had expired. I did not realize that until I was trying to board the plane. I was immediately classified as "traveling with no identification" and had to be taken into the area where they make you take off your shoes, etc.

luckylass said...

Flying post 9/11 sucks. But IMO TSA agents are generally pleasant. Hell they even check my kitty carrier. I have to pull her out of the carrier and walk her through the metal detector. Of course, she freaks out every time. About 50% of the time, TSA helps me put her back in the carrier.

In my experience, the US TSA agents are a hell of alot more pleasant than the agents in Dusseldorf and Hamburg airport - yikes!

Texshan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
feraltart said...

My dad served in Vietnam. He has said that you couldn't trust anybody, not even a child, as anyone could be out to shoot you or blow themselves up. No-one is exempt. Coming home to Australia one time, I set off the metal detector at LA airport. I had to have the frisk and wand. Not only did my belt buckle (sewn onto my top, not a good choice in hind sight) set off the wand, but my underwire in my bra did too. I had no problem being frisked. Keep me and everybody else safe. I also think the TSA agent in the video did a very good job.

Texshan said...

Hijab, not habib, D'oh!

Rolf said...

one word:

DISGUSTING!

Seachica said...

@anita - I think the enhanced driving licenses are only offered in certain states that share a border with Canada, and it's an agreement between the state and province. Here in Washington,you can get one - which allows you to cross the land border only between Wash and BC. It makes sense if you're traveling across the border regularly. I didn't bother, because I'm a cheapskate.

Anotheramy said...

Im not sure what the problem is. Im pretty sure the terrorist and drug dealers wouldn't think twice about stuffing a cast full of drugs or explosives. It sucks that the kid had to go thru this but the agent was really nice about it.

theyareangry said...

But don't dare search any middle easterner, that's racist.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I saw this on the news tonight & they said this video was taken 2 years ago, so why is the dad just now releasing it?

I don't have to fly that often, but when I do I don't really mind having to deal with security if it means I'm safer.

SoberSista said...

JustJen, they're not as careful as you think. Last year they checked my knitting bag I was carrying with me. I had scissors and 13 inch pointed steel knitting needles, and they let me on the plane with them.

Also, two Christmases ago TSA went through my checked bags out of my sight, and when I got to my mother's, the presents were still there, but the envelope with ALL of my gift cards was missing. I reported all of them stolen, and just wish I could've been there to see the looks on the faces of those who tried to use their "gifts" only to be told the cards had been stolen.

I hate TSA.

WUWT? said...

Bomb and drug sniffing dogs do a much better job. Dogs also can be trained to read nervousness more accurately than people. For as difficult as it is to get a job with the TSA, they seem to get a lot of losers, and
I too think we've been lucky more than we've been protected.

Ranx said...

And he said "thank you" at the end? I think he meant "F&%k you"

lutefisk said...

Truthfully, I don't think this was so bad. I worked in the jewelry district, and every time we left a room with jewelry we went through a metal detector and was searched up and down with a wand. We couldn't wear underwire bras or anything with metal buttons or zippers, and we had to remove our shoes. The worst part was being pregnant and needing to pee really badly, but having to stop for a full search.

My son has Type 1 Diabetes and I can't tell you how uncomfortable it is to have his backpack searched everywhere. Everything is pulled out and searcher---needles, blood sugar meter, insulin, lancing device. All pulled apart and dismantled. Then they start pulling out the emergency carbs telling us we are prohibited from bringing in food. He is used to it by now, but I wish they would catch the real terrorists.

Abby said...

This video was shot over a year ago before they changed the policy regarding children to a lower level of screening. I don't think the kids looks as distressed as he is reported to look.

Jac said...

Meh, ever try crossing the border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland during the 80s/90s??
Everyone was taken out of the car basically at gunpoint while the car was searched. I also remember travelling to the UK when I was younger then 10 and having my barbies checked by security in the UK.
We have the chipped passports here, makes no difference, the US government do a pre authorization check too now which costs €12 (I think) for 2 years, I think it only covers US databases, but I'm sure it will some time in the future will be a full background check before travel.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE how flippantly you people talk about the threat of having C4 strapped to the wheelchair/cane/cast/breathing tube/ braces

Do any of you realize C4 is NOT sold at K-Mart.

And for anyone that thinks- Well "They" can get it!

Since 1984 ANYONE that purchases FERTILIZER none the less C4 is put on a Specific FBI Database.

Think of why things happen- Who has to gain-
Wonder why building 7 fell without ANY debris hitting the structure 2 weeks after a brand new Multi Million dollar policy covering "Terrorist Attack" was put into effect.
that is some hunch that guy had huh-

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