TSA Forces Leukemia Patient, 95, To Remove Soiled Diaper For Airport Patdown

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The daughter of a 95-year-old leukemia patient said on Monday she was “emotionally distraught” after airport security officers forced her mother to remove her soiled adult diaper during a pat-down.

Jean Weber of Destin, Fla., is calling for the Transportation Security Administration to review its procedures after the incident at June 18 at Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Pensacola, Fla.

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

While going through the airport’s security checkpoint, a TSA officer performed a pat down on Weber’s wheelchair-bound mother, Weber said. After an officer felt something “suspicious” on her leg, Weber’s mother was taken into a private room for further inspection.

The officer then told Weber that her mother’s Depend undergarment was soiled and prevented a complete pat down from being done. The officer asked for it to be removed, which Weber did in a restroom.

Weber told KNX 1070 that once she voiced her objection to the pat-down, she was detained for a security screening as well.

“They have a special group when someone displays unusual behavior, and they considered my breaking into tears and sobbing unusual behavior,” said Weber.

After being taken behind a partition wall, Weber said the agents patted her down, removed the contents of her purse and “started swabbing everything”.

The TSA released a statement Sunday saying the agency had “reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”

Despite the incident, Weber said she does not plan legal action against the TSA.

“I’m not suing them,” said Weber. “I just want them to assess what they have done, what their rules are, and perhaps to find another way to treat patients in wheelchairs.”

  • DR. Q


    • Saber 1

      We need to racially profile, just like the good old days. A metal detector and profiling, if your wearing a diaper on your head or curtains, your getting the full monty. If your an old lady/man in a wheel chair, you get assistance to your gate. Most of these TSA people were handing food through a window last week or on welfare. This week, they can have you tossed in jail.

  • mister s

    TSA has a job to do and the rules must be enforced equally. For those of you that dont believe kids or elderly should be patted down, consider this……. Recently in Afghanistan insurgents gave an 8 year old girl a bag and told her to hand it to the officers at the police station. When that child was close enough, they detonated the bag. The individuals that the TSA are screening for are very bad people who have no problem using an means necessary to complete their objective. They will hide explosives in a diaper of a child or an old lady if thats what it takes. Id rather find out before the plane is blown up.

  • Dr. Flight

    Great job TSA!!! It’s really nice when organizations, business and even politicians stand up and do the RIGHT thing, even though their politically incorrectness may offended some! I just can’t stand it when there are certain rules, policies, and loop-holes that allow some special privileges because of who they are or who they might know!. For security reasons, there are rules which MUST BE APPLIED to everyone equally regardless of age, religion, race, gender, etc., and for heaven’s sake get over it!!! The only people who defend these “special privileges” for some are those who believe that certain populations should have special rights that don’t apply to them. The funny part is that these same people are also the ones who scream for equality when they are singled out!!! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

  • Stealth

    Absolutely Dr. Flight and Mister S…We need to stand up and applaud good behavior. The TSA needs to have stick rules that apply to everyone equally, and those that don’t want to play the game don’t have to fly. Some people are under the belief that everything is a God given right — NOT! Flying is a privilege that MUST BE Paid for, and those who agree to the terms and pay for the service MUST abide by the rules/policies of the business providing the service. If not, go somewhere else and get a better deal!!

  • The Big Logic

    Just another indication that the terrorists are winning. They have affected our lifestyle in so many ways gradually over the years, that much of their effects have gone unnoticed. This is evidence of that.

  • Dr. Flight

    Don’t be such a pessimist! Enjoy each day and remember that we beat the terrorists each day we are able to implement our security strategy. The day we no longer implement our strategy is the day the terrorists win! The logic is simple, a lot like breathing. A pessimist might say that each breath takes you that much closer to the end of your life. An optimist will say you have your life until your very last breath! Just sit back, stop the complaining and enjoy life a little! By the way, who do you think embarrassed the old lady more, the TSA agent that had to search the lady or the mother how had to make it international news?!

  • Stealth

    Dr. Flight, you mean the daughter who had to make it international news…I’d say the daughter, it seems she was more interested in sharing her beliefs on the subject than protecting her mother from embarrassment. I like your analogy about breathing also…it’s all about perspective!

  • Amy

    People can whine about TSA until they are blue in the face. The fact is if you want to fly you HAVE TO follow the orders of TSA employees. And if you cause a scene you will have airport police officers all around you WITHIN SECONDS. Don’t like it? Then vent at the people who placed these policies on the books NOT the people who enforce them. This is like complaining to a police officer as to why the speed limit on freeway’s is only 65mph…LOL. And no, I don’t work for TSA.

  • An Old but Wise Lady

    Good point Dr. Flight…it doesn’t seem like this daughter was very interested in protecting her mother, not the passengers who’d have to sit by the soiled diapers on a long flight. Instead of pointing fingers at a person (man or woman) for doing their job, let’s ask questions about those who are not willing to comply. When was this lady’s diaper last changed? Was this lady being moved against a doctor’s advice? How would this daughter change her mother’s diaper on a commercial airline at 36,000 feet without causing some embarrasement to the lady? Has this lady claimed other “victum’s rights” violations? And if so, how many and how much has she earned (or settled for) in the pass? Why do we always accuse people who are trying to preform their job just because some nut case makes a claim? I know we all make mistakes on our jobs, but lets be real…there are some rude customers and there’s usually more to the story than what’s reported!

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