April 25, 2012- In a Wichita, Kansas airport, a Transportation Security Officer from the Transportation Safety Administration patted a four-year-old down, after the youngster hugged her grandmother near a security checkpoint.
The mother of the girl wrote on her Facebook page about the incident last week. She said everything started when Isabel, her daughter, passed through security successfully, but then ran back to hug her grandmother. Her grandmother had just triggered the scanning alarm and had been told to sit to wait for a pat down.
At the time, the agents on duty started to yell at the four year old and would not let her to go through the scanner another time. They said she would have to have a pat down performed.
It was implied, said the mother, that during their two-second hug, the grandmother had passed a firearm to her granddaughter. The TSA issued a statement saying they disputed the statement that any officer had suspected that a gun was passed.
The statement also said that after a review, the TSA agents followed all the proper screening procedures. The statement said that since the youngster touched another family member who had not been completely screened, she had to be rescreened and a pat down was the only alternative.
The girl’s mother said the officers did not explain to her daughter what was going on and that Isabel was completely terrified. She also said her daughter had been labeled by the officers as a high security threat and that the airport may need to be locked down if the girl could not be restrained.