A crying 4 year old girl was forced to undergo a pat down by the TSA at a Kansas airport after hugging her grandmother. Security agents called the girl an uncooperative suspect.
Isabella Brademeyer and her mother, Michelle Brademeyer, had initially passed through security without any problem. Isabella then ran over to her grandmother, Lori Croft, who was waiting to be pat down after tripping the alarm for a hug. That’s when security agents demanded that Isabella go through a physical pat down.
According to Croft, Isabella had just been learning about “stranger danger” in school and was unsure about what was happening:
“She started to cry, saying `No I don’t want to,’ and when we tried talking to her she ran. They yelled, `We are going to shut down the airport if you don’t grab her.’”
The family’s main concern is the lack of understanding by the TSA agents that they weren’t dealing with a terrorist, but with a 4 year old little girl.
“There was no common sense and there was no compassion,” Croft said. “That was our biggest fault with the whole thing _ not that they are following security procedures, because I understand that they have to do that.”
A TSA spokesperson stated:
“TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.”
According to Croft, Isabella’s mother tried to get the agents to use a wand on her daughter or let her walk through the metal detector again but that the agents would not do it. Agents wanted to screen Isabella alone in a separate room.
Isabella was crying and screaming, frightened and hysterical of what was going on. After about ten minutes a manager allowed agents to pat her down while screaming and being held by her mother. An agent then followed them to their gate.
Isabella had nightmares and talked about kidnappers for the first few nights after coming home.
“To a 4-year-old’s perspective that’s what it was to her because they didn’t explain anything and she did not know what was going on,” Croft said. “She saw people grabbing at her and raising their voices. To her, someone was trying to kidnap her or harm her in some way.”