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Video: Lambert Airport TSA Tries to Pat Down Three-Year-Old In Wheelchair, Going to Disney

Categories: News

Lucy Forck, 3.jpg
via YouTube. Full video below.
Lucy, age three.
This is not how the Forck family's trip to Disney World was supposed to go.

An Osage Beach, Missouri family says they suffered quite an ordeal at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport earlier this month when Transportation Security Administration officials tried to pat down their three-year-old daughter who is disabled and uses a wheelchair. They filmed part of the confrontation, video on view below, and are now getting national attention for the incident.

"This is about the worst situation you can imagine," Nathan Forck, the 37-year-old father, tells Daily RFT. "It just broke my heart."

Were local TSA agents discriminating against a disabled child?

Here's the chaotic footage, filmed by Nathan's wife, Annie and posted a few days ago with the title "Shh! TSA Wants to Touch Your Kids."

The couple alleges -- and some of this is recorded in the video -- that while they were trying to get to their flight on February 9 from St. Louis to Disney World in Orlando, agents pulled Lucy aside because they said they needed to do additional screening including a "pat down" and "wheelchair swab." They also temporarily took away "Lamby," the three-year-old's stuffed toy, causing the child to burst in to tears.

Two other daughters, ages 11 and 4, were there and witnessed the whole ordeal (and a fourth daughter, age 2, stayed back at home).

"It was very stressful, of course," Nathan Forck tells us. "We were on our way to Disney World. We are not rich people by any means. This was something we had saved for and here we are in line -- the plane is leaving in thirty minutes...and we are being treated like criminals."

He says the TSA agents made it clear that they were singling their daughter out because she was in a wheelchair, which he says is clearly unfair discrimination.

Nathan Forck family.jpg
Courtesy of Nathan Forck
The family in Disney World this month.

"Because she is in a wheelchair, we have to pat her down?" he says. "That's discrimination against a disabled person -- to just single her out for special treatment because she is disabled."

Lucy has a condition called spina bifida, he says, which means she was born with an exposed spinal cord in her lower back.

"You're not going to put your hand on my child without probable cause," he says.

The situation escalated when TSA agents repeated that they had to pat her down -- and his wife said that she was going to record them if they did.

"You can't touch my daughter unless I can record," she says in the footage.

An agent is heard responding, "It is against the law for you to record," as Lucy continues to sob.

After a lot of arguing and drama, they were finally able to convince the agents to let them carry her through security and have them do a separate check of the wheelchair without Lucy in it, says Forck, who is an attorney that works with the elderly and disabled.

"That's a good solution for a small child that can be picked up and carried," he says. "Not every disabled person is going to be able to be taken through a metal detector."

Continue for TSA's response and for of our interview with Nathan Forck.


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55 comments
Heather Coil
Heather Coil

Miriam the airlines handled their own security including metal detectors until 2002. Look it up on the TSAs website. They have caught zero terrorists. My suggestion is to remove the TSA in its entirety and allow the airlines to handle their own security. I personally don't enjoy being groped every time I get on a plane. It is a violation of my rights. Obviously they are discriminating against disabled people as well. This has to stop.

AsaferAmerica
AsaferAmerica

Yeah, all in the name of being "safe". I for one am glad that the TSA manhandled this little potential terrorist. It makes me feel better at night that no 4 year old with spina bifida can blow up a plane of fly it into a building.


Land of the free (so long as it is safe) home of the brave (so long as it is secure). 

The "terrorists" have won. Everyone is so concerned with being "safe" that freedom takes a back seat, and if you complain, then you should have expected to be groped at the airport, and you should not have flown. Screw your freedom. Screw unlawful search & seizure or any 'bill of rights'. None of that stuff makes you "safer".

  So thats that. One little snot nose terrorist exposed, and one more lie told by a jackboot thug in uniform.

At least we are "safe"



Miriam Ross
Miriam Ross

If no TSA, what do you suggest be done to secure our airways? How do you know who/ what all they've caught? Do they report the things or people they catch to you or blast it to the media for each instance? So tired of people complaining and not making useful suggestions.

Jackie Midyett
Jackie Midyett

*Rolls eyes* The only cause for controversy I see here is the parent using her crying child as a way to seek attention.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Here is the problem, parents know that cry. That cry is not a cry of distress. She cried because they took away her doll. She stopped crying when she got it back even though the "pat down" procedure continued for another 3 minutes. The crying had nothing to do with the pat down. They would have had to take the doll and check it out whether she was in a wheelchair or not. The parent made the ordeal much longer than it needed to be by recording it and arguing with the TSA over what everyone has to go through. If you don't like the rules of flying commercially, then don't fly commercially but don't put the rest of us in danger because you don't want your kid to be checked and don't reinforce the tantrum (because that is what that was) by giving the doll back when she cries for it.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

Disgusting. End the TSA. They have caught zero terrorists yet have molested thousands of passengers and stolen their property. This is the epitome of government waste, and is completely unconstitutional.

Darin Gries
Darin Gries

It's the damb law because terrorists want to kill you. What if the kid were Muslim? Think teddy would be getting scanned then????

greeny
greeny

1st world problems vs 3rd world problems... Think outside of your bubble and understand that this is necessary for your entire families protection, yes individual people may handle things differently. But, do not let security lessen because of this... Human beings in America see this as a tragedy, human beings in 3rd world countries see this as opportunity.

shawneekim6
shawneekim6

To the parents: DON'T FLY NEXT TIME! Sorry, but if you are going to travel by plane then young or old you must folow the rules. Plain & simple. Frankly, I'm tired of people making it such an issue & going to the media to share their stories about the 'traumatic' experience. Too bad, it is your choice to fly.

daniel_luke76
daniel_luke76

Good that you took a video and shared it, but these stories come out all the time. The TSA is immune to shame. No change will be effected unless you SUE.

piqua3
piqua3

boo flipping hoo poor thing its what keeps us safe in the air if  the parents wouldn't dramatized this the kid would of stayed calm 5 minutes of fame all is well for the parents get over it Little Lucy made it all is well.

piqua3
piqua3

boo flipping hoo poor thing its what keeps us safe in the air if  the parents wouldn't dramatized this the kid would of stayed calm 5 minutes of fame all is wellfor the parents get over it Little Lucy made it all is well.

smb1238
smb1238

Lambert TSA is famous for its stone-cold thug agents. I was mugged by a duo who strongly resemble those in the video, a few weeks after they or their colleagues mugged a kid being sent to camp by her mom. I reported them but I bet nothing happened, just like nothing will now. The corruption and malfeasance of these people knows no bounds. It's time to dissolve the TSA.

Michael Hill
Michael Hill

Casey Kohler is a bat shit crazy wignut conspiracy theorist who listens to Alex Jones and reads WorldNetDaily and The Drudge Report.

Michael Hill
Michael Hill

Thank you George W. Bush and John Ashcroft for creating an agency staffed by functionally illiterate morons who are one step ahead of a federal indictment.

Carolyn Burke
Carolyn Burke

If they don't do their jobs, then we blame TSA for that too. It's the bad guys who make the rules. The waiting part stinks.

Kim Chisum
Kim Chisum

people that want to hurt others, will use any means they deem necessary to meet their goal. im sorry they checked the child but if the tsa didnt do their job, then where would the public`s outrage and outcry lie? better to be safe and uncomfortable than sorry later. im just saying.

kerri1057
kerri1057

I have been a "victim" of these pat down techniques for over 20 years as a wheelchair user. A full body pat down and wand even before 911. Since 911, my wheelchair and bottom of my shoes as well as hands are swiped to check for signs of explosives. This happens EVERY DAY for wheelchair users because we cannot go through the metal detectors. I feel for the child who was obviously quite upset by all of this, but it happens to all ages-yes my first full breast pat down was upsetting (pre 911), and being told to lift my bottom up for that to be checked now is not pleasant and in front of everyone. But, I have found that it goes much more smoothly if there is cooperation. I wonder how much the parents own anxieties added to the anguish of this child. And where do we draw the line then?? If you "look" honest, or in a wheelchair, or young, or old, you don't have to be checked? Or not MY child? It is unfortunate that we have to undergo this for safety reasons today.

Steve Besher
Steve Besher

Where do you think most of the drugs are found??? small kids hidding them

Bobby
Bobby

This is not discrimination. If her wheelchair sets off the metal detector a pat down is needed. If I set if off I would get a pat down. 

Kim Randall
Kim Randall

Did anyone actually read the article? Should everyone be treated equally? Yes... Should a child be patted down if they didnt go through the screening without setting off alarms? Yes... That mother was FINE with the pat down, but NOT with the ridiculousness that they caused. The child is disabled and it clearly states has spinal bifida and that anytime anyone touches her child like that she records it. Those TSA agents had no right telling that Mom that she wasnt allowed to record it as it is 100% within OUR RIGHTS AS A FLYER. Please tell me you would be reacting calm and in favor of TSA if this was your child. They deserved an experience that was more calm and less upsetting to a child and they now deserve an apology from the assholes that were rude.

Ellyn Hloben
Ellyn Hloben

Five minutes filming and arguing with the TSA! Turn off the cell phone recorder and console your terrified child.

Lena May
Lena May

There is a tactful way to screen people if its necessary. I agree that the airport security that this airport may be on a bit of a power trip!

Adam Gillespie
Adam Gillespie

Ridiculous? Yes. Unnecessary? Probably. Wrong (as in morally)? No.

Bonnie Sue
Bonnie Sue

A three year old does not have the mental capacity to be prepared itts just traumatic stranger: danger end of story

Elizabeth Yoder
Elizabeth Yoder

I feel like the parent needs to turn off the cell phone and console/calm the child. Media hungry much?

Deb Lewis
Deb Lewis

I agree completely; Dave and I have discussed this..when news stories appear about elderly folks or children or nuns...or whatever...everyone needs to be prepared to be searched..

Cady Schmitt Russell
Cady Schmitt Russell

It doesn't seem WRONG; any one of us can be patted down when we travel by air. But we can hope that the TSA is respectful, and the parents among us can take a lesson and remember to mentally prepare our kids before we take them through airport security.

Fred Hoffman
Fred Hoffman

Its such a trap to fly nowadays...what kan u do..these idiots with more education than me..kno this too..

Nathan Adams
Nathan Adams

Pat her down! My kids get patted all the time. Why does a wheel chair make you special? I thought we should look past disabilities and look at equality. I'm sorry she cried but my boys feel violated also

John Price
John Price

Always two sides, but where is Missouri style common sense in this one? That poor girl was terrified.

Nicholas Reynolds
Nicholas Reynolds

Fact is...NO!! In other parts of the world, they strap bombs to their children, send them up to the enemy. If we show a vulnerability , then someone sinister will exploit it. Vigilance is key to security, anyone who says otherwise will be the first person screaming more security when the next 3000 innocents are murdered.

Brian Larson
Brian Larson

I bet I know who the tsa person was......big power tripper out there

Jesse Davis
Jesse Davis

I'll bet dude that mentioned govt listens to Alex jones n thinks Obama isn't American.

Lindsay Pattan
Lindsay Pattan

Regardless of government issues (and conspiracy theories), terrorists will always be an issue. And yes, a white child in a wheel chair should be patted down as much as a middle aged middle eastern man.

Jesse Davis
Jesse Davis

It's all ridiculous. 9/11 was boxcutters. Enough guys together can take a plane anytime they want.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Oh great, a conspiracy nut in the first 5 comments. Yes, the govt has an agenda to make a 3 year old disabled kid cry so her parents are not aware that Disney world is one weekend away from being turned into a FEMA camp- after they take the little girl's gun away.

solex10
solex10

No,she pointing out how full of shit the TSA is for touching her daughter when they didn't have to.

carbomba
carbomba

@Miriam Antoinette Ross  just rape everyone and get it overwith

carbomba
carbomba

@Jackie Midyett  you are a sad fool

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

greeny
greeny

@kerri1057 It is the rules, want another 911? if not then just deal with it.

greeny
greeny

@Lena May well all federal employees will lose their job soon because of the horrid republicans, so.... blame this and everything on them and watch abc and nbc every morning!!!!!!! great job America!

cmfreigeist82
cmfreigeist82

@greeny 
@kerri1057 Really?  You think patting down young kids is going to stop terrorism?  That really shows how ignorant you are.

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