3-Year-Old in a Wheelchair Gets a Pat-Down by the TSA (VIDEO)

Say What!? 96

tsaMy son and I were waiting in a security line at the airport the other day when he asked me, "Mom, are they going to take away my stuffed animal?" "What?" I said, "No, they would never do a silly thing like that!" Ha. Well looks like I was the silly one. The TSA has done that -- and worse!

A wheelchair-bound 3-year-old was allegedly detained for 20 minutes by security agents at the Lambert-St. Louis Airport. AND they took away the girl's "Lamby." Her outraged dad, Nathan Forck, captured some of the insanity on video, and it's awful. Poor Lucy was so traumatized she was wailing, "I don't want to go to Disney World!"

According to Forck, two different agents told him they would have to give Lucy a "pat-down" because she was in a wheelchair. A hot pink child's wheelchair, mind you. The parents do not allow anyone to touch their children without a camera present -- a little paranoid, but within their rights. The TSA agents tried to tell them filming them was illegal, but Forck is a lawyer who knows better. He and his wife continued to question why Lucy had to be subjected to a pat-down.

At some point, an agent had taken away Lucy's stuffed animal because supposedly she couldn't hold it while going through security. Meanwhile, the parents talked with several managers and kept answering questions about who they are and where they were going before they were finally finished. Oh yeah, and they had their two other children with them, so fun for the whole family.

Isn't that ridiculous? I mean, as it is, everyone hates waiting in those long security lines. We hate the naked ex-ray machines (thank goodness they're being phased out, but I still saw some this weekend). We hate taking off our shoes every time we want to get onto a plane. If it keeps us all safe, though, fine. We'll put up with the inconvenience.

But to freak out over a 3-year-old in a wheelchair? Come on! That's the height of absurdity. There are times when the TSA just seems to veer into the Land Beyond Logic all in the name of protecting the American public. The agents were just doing their job, I guess. But could we please get some better training? Some clearer rules? Some rules that make sense?

Supposedly, you can call the TSA Cares hotline before you fly so you can find out what level of insane scrutiny they're going to subject you to. (Call during business hours at least 72 hours before your flight.) I guess they can subject your toddler's wheelchair to a pat-down. Whatever! But YOU can video record that pat-down if you want to. Thank God the TSA is here to protect us from wheelchair-bound toddlers and their Lambys.

(Warning: This video is so upsetting it made my son cry because he couldn't bear seeing a kid be deprived of her stuffed animal.)

Do you think the TSA really needs to inspect children's wheelchairs at the airport?


Image via alschutle/YouTube

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Vegeta Vegeta

You can hide stuff in a wheelchair and stuffed animals. Not that these people did but if a kid got on a plane with those things and something did happen everyone would be crying for tighter security. Also the parents making a big deal out of a routine search is what took 20 minutes. I got my stuffed animal (a gift) taken away for scanning, a patdown and my hands swabbed and tested (which took like 8 minutes, while the rest of my party walked right through). And guess what? I didn't cry to the media about it! It wasn't degrading or inconvenient its just a random check!

BeckyP. BeckyP.

Do they inspect your shoes at the airport? Do they make you take off your coat and run it through? Why wouldn't they inspect the wheelchair? Whether it was a child's or an adults, it could still be harboring something illegal. TSA's don't you from "adam" when you walk through there and they can't assume you are a nice person, for the safety of all who fly. I've heard some people sick and twisted stories of parents using their children to smuggle drugs. They are doing their job to keep people safe. I'm sorry that she was so upset by it but just because she's a 3 year old in a wheelchair doesn't exclude her from the rules and her parents should have been responsible enough to try and explain that to her.

kelti... kelticmom

Ditto to the above posters. People use their children all the time to smuggle things, because they think no one will suspect an innocent child. And if parents would not make such a big deal over the pat down in the first place, the entire incident could go quickly and smoothly. Instead by causing a ruckus, you freak the child out even more. 

bills... billsfan1104

What disturbs me about this is the father video tapping his distressed child. WTF?

howcrazy howcrazy

I think it is bullshit.  TSA has stopped exactly 0 real terrorists.  Instead, they terrorize children.  The reason they were so enraged is bc they were lied to about their rights to tape the TSA agents doing the pat down. 

doodledo doodledo

Does anyone even remember who the 9/11 hijackers were? Was it disabled children in wheelchairs? Old ladies? Iraqies? Oh yeah...I remember! Every single one of them were Saudie Arabian citizens.

Gee I feel soooo much safer now after seeing that video of a TSA agent trying to pat down a crippled American child. *eyeroll*

FFS people the TSA was NOT created to stop drug smuggling. It was created to stop terrorists....supposedly but after seeing that video and others I am not so sure. Does the TSA even know who they should be looking for? They certainly. Don't appear to.


I saw this,this morning ,and I just saw a whiny kid. Frankly I think the parents added fuel to this. They should have been trying to tell the little girl what's going on and show her there's nothing to it,but nooo you got "I'm taping this" lawyer dad. People hide shit all the time pops needs to get over it.

jagam... jagamama0710

Unacceptable. I don't give a shit what kind of excuses you people are spouting off for them. 

jagam... jagamama0710

Because you know what? While that poor girl was being treated as a criminal, a "normal" looking person could have easily brought who knows what dangerous thing past security. It just seems more likely they're going to stop those in wheelchairs, or children, or those with medical issues vs a regular person. 

The TSA is a friggin joke and I feel terribly sorry for you if you are naive enough to believe they're actually doing any good.


paige... paige8608

I felt SO bad for this little girl! The mom seemed pretty cool for someone who's upset. And even though TSA have certain protocol to go by, they could at least be halfway intelligent & quick about it. They sounded like morons. That poor girl. I almost cried. I feel bad for her that she had to do that. 

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