TSA Pats Down Cancer-Stricken 95-Year-Old Woman, Removes Adult Diaper (VIDEO)

Posted Jun 26th 2011 10:45 PMUpdated Jun 27th 2011 01:33 PM



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TSA security officers at Florida's Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport patted down a cancer-stricken, 95-year-old woman and forcibly removed her adult diaper during the search, CNN reports. Could this end up being yet another TSA PR nightmare?

Jean Weber was traveling with her ill mother on June 18 from Florida to Michigan to see relatives "in the final stages of her battle with leukemia" when the incident occurred.

Weber told CNN that while she thinks the officers may have been "procedurally correct...the procedure needs to be changed." Weber noted that her mother had had a blood transfusion the week before.

A Suspiciously "Wet and Firm" Diaper

While passing through security, TSA officials "felt something suspicious and they couldn't determine what it was," so they took Weber's mother to a private room.

A TSA agent told Weber that her mother's Depends underwear was "wet and firm and they couldn't check it thoroughly," so the mother-daughter duo left in search of a bathroom to remove the underwear. Weber did not have an extra pair of Depends with her.

Weber "burst into tears" but her mother was "very calm" even though she was forced to go through the airport without underwear. Her elderly mother was taken to the boarding gate without her as Weber was still going through security.

TSA Defends Search

In response to the incident, the TSA said on Sunday that "While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner. We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

UPDATE 6/27: The TSA released a follow-up statement on Monday, MSNBC reports. The new statement is just a slight alteration from its original statement. The TSA's latest statement reads: "While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the statement read. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper."

This isn't the first time the TSA has gotten into hot water over pat down procedures. In April, a video of a 6-year-old getting a pat down at the New Orleans airport went viral, while in May, a video of a baby getting a pat down caused quite a stir.

Last week, the TSA announced they would change the procedures for patting down children.

TSA Under Fire for Asking Elderly Woman to Remove Diaper

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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Okay, I am gettin tired of this story, most especially from the point of outrage at the TSA. The 95 year old woman was fine with it, her daughter was the one upset....WHY??? Because she was fine with expecting her 95 year old, cancer stricken mother to continue wearing a wet, soiled diaper for at least another four hours and the TSA inspector made her remove it. I think the outrage should be aimed at the daughter for not having a spare depends for her mother.

August 05 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

that's why i NEVER fly, ever since i worked at an airport i couldn't understand why people go through all that BS with the TSA jerks to travel a distance a bus or train could take you in 4 hours?. i'd rather do a cross-country journey inside a train in first class for 3 days (which is the best way to travel) and best of all with no stupid BS from some underpaid government TSA jerk.

August 05 2011 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
My Most Precious

devil's advocate: If I was a radical, suicidal terrorist, I would probably have absolutely no problem putting a bomb in a dying 95 year old's underpants. In house and foreign terrorist are working very hard to find new and clever ways to screw good folks over. Therefore, I feel, when there is an exception to the rule, there is no rule. Everyone gets the random pats or the xray. If I had my 96 year old, dying aunt with me and we hundreds to spend on plane fare, we would have extra diapers, it was full because she needed a new one! Would you take a baby on a plane with no extra diapers? No. Grandma needed an extra few, espcially if her luggage got mishandled. So, yes, it was yucky and embarrassing but it shows the terrorist we check everybody... so dont bring in little old people and think they can slide and don't kidnap some kid and strap him up and think he will not be checked. I was patted down to the point of needing a cigarette after - and I dont smoke. But thats better than blowing up because special folks get to go through. If it is that weird, drive. I am not willing to go through that to go say to the dells, I will drive. But fly to London? LA, NY, DC? I will wear clean underwear make sure my aunt has medicine, prescriptions and extra depends in the carry on, go very early, volunteer to be searched, and not complain. I lost folks in 9/11. The terrorists won in many ways. That helped to mess up several industries. We must soldier on, and not let them do it again.

August 02 2011 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was flying on vaca with my husband and 3 young kids and a tsa agent noticed our bottle of benadryl for allergies. It had already been opened and so he said he needed to look at it. He took so long making a big deal out of the whole thing. It was actually comical because he looked so unofficial. He held it up to the light like a scientist to examine it. It's pink fluid! Then he took the bottle away for a bit, claiming to have to test it, reappeared, and handed me the bottle back. He thought he was the big investigator you could just tell!

August 01 2011 at 11:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mamyoung's comment
My Most Precious

my friend is an 60's ex hippie professor. Until recently, she had no problem putting her stash in with her grandkids stuff. That is until she almost got caught because they had dogs near the toddler. If a harvard and Berkley educated professor will risk putting pot on a grandkid, surely some crazed lunatic would put a bomb on a kid. In CHicago if your baby has a open bottle they have you taste it it right there sometimes because there are liquid bombs that you can put in bottle of medicine, baby formula etc.... they have actually found 2 or 3 of them and that is were the practice comes from.... just like the shoe bomber from UK on BA. Thats why off with the shoes at Ohare! wear thick socks, easily removable shoes, and a thick skin. Hopefully they will not stop doing their jobs because of people getting frustrated at them. I bitch when I am left on the tarmack for hours - let us off the darn plane!!!! So I guess there will always be something. Still, I cant drive everywhere and a boat ... no way. So I have to suck it up.

August 02 2011 at 3:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Leigh Frederick

In 1985 I was a young mother with a 9 year old son. He and I both loved REO Speedwagon so when they came to town I took him to see them. Before we were allowed in the concert hall I was "patted down" by a female security guard, which was procedure at that time and was not a surprise, while my son was also searched. The male guard was very gentle with my son and not at all invasive, but still I couldn't believe that searching him was necessary and verbalized my concerns. The guards apologized for having to perform the search but told me that many adults would sneak in drugs, alcohol and weapons on their own children. Even though I feel for the elderly woman and her daughter I do see that a procedure and protocol has to be implemented and followed without favoritism for one group of people or another. I also agree with the daughter who stated that although she feels that protocol was probably followed that the procedure could most likely need a revision or two. The real bully here is terrorism and its effects.

July 30 2011 at 8:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Your Mom

The TSA should be 100% funded through a tax on airline tickets. Maybe when people see the true cost of this agency they'll call their congressman and TSA will be held accountable for its actions.

July 27 2011 at 6:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Your Mom's comment
My Most Precious

we should call our cm anyway. Do you really want Delta and US Air and etc in charge of security? Sheesh! we would never get to go anywhere and tix would cost 1k

August 02 2011 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 25 2011 at 5:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

the TSA arent the only ones going overboard at times..try going to the greyhound bus station in orlando...after a long flight from england to orlando , without incident , i got to the bus station and the two guards ripped apart everything in my suit case , tore open every bottle of prescription meds , read every page of my medical records ( which i bring with me when i stay in the US ) and took out every piece of clothing , re examined my passport 3 times , and when i said something to them , it just got worse...and the taxi driver who brought me to the bus station , had to take out everything in his pockets , and take off his jacket .......and no it wasnt just me they did this to...everyone who set foot in the bus station faced the same humiliation........they make the TSA look tame in comparrison ..nedless to say ,,, i wont go greyhound ever again

July 25 2011 at 2:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why can't I share this on Facebook? I mean, I can.... but it doesn't show the title of the story. So there is no point in sharing it.

July 15 2011 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heather Steele

After hearing about all of these horrible acts of human rights violations, there is almost nothing in this world that could make me get on an airplane. I will drive, take the bus, take a boat, take a train, or do whatever it takes to get where I need to be, avoiding air travel at all costs. I will continue to boycott airlines until something is done to correct the heinous internal problems of the TSA. Everyone else should do the same. Stop flying until these cretins stop targeting and harassing our young, our weak, and our elderly. So long as people keep flying and allowing themselves to be subjected to these gross invasions of privacy and humiliating acts of molestation, nothing will change. The TSA will continue to act as the ultimate reigning authority with no checks on its perverse procedures and ridiculous requirements concerning the most vulnerable of our citizens. They will continue to fondle our children, mentally traumatize our weak, and humilate, degrade, and exploit our elderly. WE have to do something to put an end to this, and the only way to do that is to hit them where it hurts. The wallet. Stop flying until passengers are given back their basic human rights!

July 15 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply