DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A 12-year-old girl who suffers from a bone disorder and uses a wheelchair was detained for nearly an hour at DFW International Airport after TSA agents said they found explosive residue on her hands.
Shelbi Walser was traveling to Florida for medical treatment with her mother when the incident occurred last weekend.
Her mother, Tammy Daniels, says that TSA agents pulled her to the side after a test revealed explosives residue on the girls hands. However, Daniels believes that TSA agents never used common sense during the ordeal.
Listen to the interview with Shelbi’s mother on KRLD’s Morning News
“Through all of this, no common sense ever kicked in,” said Daniels. “No one ever tested her wheelchair.”
Daniels acknowledged that wheelchairs are “like the bottoms of shoes”, which are nasty and exposed to any and everything on the ground.
Other passengers reportedly spoke out in Shelbi’s defense, and her mother recorded the whole incident on cell phone video. Shelbi was mortified during the incident and feared that TSA agents were going to separate her from her mother.
At one point, agents called a supervisor in to deal with Daniels, who is very angry about the way she was treated.
“Never once did I lose my composure with them,” said Daniels. “I never screamed at them – nothing. And the lady had the audacity to call who she called and tell them I was being hostile, which I find funny.”
Shelbi and her mother were released after a bomb expert showed up and found nothing hazardous.
“I understand other people’s concerns that they are just providing a safety for everyone who flies – I understand that,” said Daniels. “But that was not the case here.”
Despite the delay, they were able to make their flight.
TSA would not discuss this specific event, but provided the following statement.
“TSA’s mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide.
We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels. We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes.
We take the professionalism of our workforce and the integrity of our security procedures very seriously and will address any alleged issues directly with the passenger and not through the news media.”
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