TSA has apologized for what it calls "inaccurate guidance" given during the screening at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
A YouTube video recorded by the mother of a wheelchair-bound 3-year-old shows the girl bursting into tears after a TSA screening at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
The Forck family was on the way to Disney World on Feb. 9 when TSA agents took away Lucy Forck's stuffed animal and pulled her aside for an additional security check, the New York Daily News reported.
The video shows a TSA agent telling Lucy's mother, Annie Forck, that it was illegal to film the patdown. Lucy, who suffers from spina bifida, was in a wheelchair.
TSA agents later apologized for the incident, saying in a statement to The Daily News that "it's okay to film TSA security checks as long as it doesn't interfere with the screening process."
"TSA regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology," the statement said. "We are committed to maintaining the security of the traveling public and strive to treat all passengers with dignity and respect. While no pat-down was performed, we will address specific concerns with our workforce."
TSA apologizes for detaining 3-year-old wheelchair-bound girl
According to the video, Lucy was set aside for a "pat-down" and "wheelchair swab." When Lucy's mother started recording the incident, a TSA agent told her that recording is illegal.
"My daughter was already distraught after the TSA agent wouldn't allow her to hold her stuffed toy 'Lamby,'" Forck says in the video.
Forck's video shows her daughter crying as the TSA agent takes away her toy.
"It's illegal to do that," the TSA agent is heard saying in the video, referring to the videotaping.
"You can't touch my daughter unless I can record it," Forck shoots back.
Lucy's father Nathan, who is an attorney, steps in at that moment, asking the TSA agent to cite the law.
"The problem is I don't allow anyone to touch my daughter without being able to record it," Forck says.
At some point, Lucy starts saying that she doesn't want to go to Disney World.
"See, you are special," Forck tells her daughter as the screening continues. "We get to do special stuff."
Forck's conversation with the TSA agent in the video indicates that it's the first time Lucy was traveling in a wheelchair. The TSA agent then informs her that the chair needs to be inspected using a thorough pat-down.
This policy is also outlined on the TSA website.
"Shh! TSA wants to touch your kids but you are not allowed to document it," Forck writes in the description of her video. "I feel violated but it's obvious my daughter brought it on herself. I mean, look at her all dressing like a potential terrorist/drug trafficker. People who roll in on hot pink wheelchairs, wearing a gingerbread coat and clutching a stuffed baby lamb, are just begging to be harassed."
Lucy's father told The Riverfront Times that he does not plan to take any legal action against the TSA, but wants to make a "public statement on what's right and what's wrong."
He added that "Lucy ... had an awesome trip in Disney World."