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TSA Agent Pats Down And Swabs Boy, 3, In Wheelchair At Chicago O'Hare Airport

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WHEELCHAIR KID
Trembling with fear: The three-year-old is visibly distressed by the ordeal | YouTube

YouTube video of an airport security worker patting down and swabbing a wheelchair-bound little boy has gone viral.

Uploaded on 17 March by mattonair, the clip shows the three-year-old boy being taken aside by the TSA at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

The little boy, who has a broken leg, was en route to Disney World, accompanied by his siblings, parents and grandparents when they were stopped.

It features the youngster looking fretful as the agent states he needs to take swabs of his cast and wheelchair.

Scroll down for video of the incident

The child’s father tries to reassure his son, telling him “Weird huh? It’s a little weird. Are you nervous? Don’t be nervous. It’s OK.

“He’s just checking to make sure we’re OK.”

At this point a note is added to the clip, which reads: “My little boy wanted me to come over to hold his hand and give him a hug. He was trembling with fear. I was told I could NOT touch him during this process.

“Instead we had to pretend this was ‘OK’ so he didn’t panic.”

The agent then asks for the little boy to lift up his shirt.

A subsequent note from his increasingly enraged father says: “Apparently, there’s lots of children in wheelchairs being used to bring down airplanes. It’s a brilliant plan when you think about it.

“PRETEND you are going to Disney, with 3 children, 2 parents, and 2 grandparents…when REALLY you smuggle C4 inside your toddler’s cast and wheelchair.”

“I was livid at this point. I am asking myself why the F**k isn’t someone with a brain coming over to waive him through.

“Someone in a position of authority NEEDS to make the obvious decision this child is not a threat RIGHT? You are swabbing a 3 year olds hands for explosives? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? “

The guard steps out of the frame for a moment and the camera reveals a pensioner in the security queue.

Another note reads: “There’s another threat! A senior citizen with a cane! Crack work from the ACE TSA team at ORD. Meanwhile they haven’t swabbed the toddler ENOUGH. Check the wheelchair AGAIN guys! This kid looks fishy!!!”

The stricken boy gazes at his father as he continues to reassure him, repeating “It’s ok, we’re almost done buddy. It’s OK.”

The TSA have been accused of over-zealous security checks in the past. In May 2011 a baby was subjected to a search at Kansas City airport.

You Tube video posted in April revealed New Orleans agents patting down a six-year-old and in July a mother was arrested in Tennessee after trying to prevent her daughter from being subjected to a search.

Andrea Fornella Abbott apparently yelled she didn’t want her daughter to “be touched inappropriately or have her crotch grabbed”, The Tennessean reported.

Literature on the TSA website says: “Our current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve.

"Although every person and item must be screened before entering each secure boarding area. All disability-related equipment, aids, and devices are allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.”

It adds: “Know that if your child is unable to walk or stand, the Security Officer will conduct a pat-down search of your child while he/she remains in their mobility aid, as well as a visual and physical inspection of their equipment.”

While some viewers claim the latest procedure was “fair enough”, others have criticised what they see as a heavy-handed approach , with 1marymagoo branding it “unreasonable and wrong on many levels”.

What do you think?

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