TSA strip searches 95 year old woman

Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search

A woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.

Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.

Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said she could not comment on specific 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’s mother entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk through, Weber said.

Wheelchairs trigger certain protocols, 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 said her mother was first pulled aside into a glass-partitioned area and patted down. Then she was taken to another room to protect her privacy during a more extensive search, Weber said.

Weber said she sat outside the room during the search.

She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search.

Weber wheeled her mother into a bathroom, removed her diaper and returned. Her mother did not have another clean diaper with her, Weber said.

Weber said she wished there were less invasive search methods for an elderly person who is unable to walk through security gates.

“I don’t understand why they have to put them through that kind of procedure,” she said.

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3 comments to TSA strip searches 95 year old woman

  • Carol Theuriet

    I think America has gone crazy. If this type of search continues then the government needs to supply people with diapers that they ask to remove.
    My question is, what the heck could a 95 year old woman hide in her Depends other than human waste. I hope those diapers were full of S___ and that the smell was so bad that the agents involved got sick.

  • rabbitt

    The problem I have is that the 95 yr old woman had a soiled diaper and the daughter was going to send her onto a flight without a spare diaper or two…that seems to border on “elderly abuse”. The TSA personnel are perfectly just in requiring a more thourough search, sure it seems unecessary and it is highly unlikely that this woman could be a threat, but protocol must be upheld. We don’t want racial profiling and yet we are outraged that an old woman was so called “excessively” seached. Shame on the daughter for not having a spare diaper or two to send her mother on a plane ride.

  • Rev Wright

    re: admin
    I’m pretty sure if the TSA groped and harassed the “openly hostile man” you are referring to, while ignoring the old lady, then he would be quick to cry racism; and liberals like yourself would be quick to defend him.

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