Mesquite Woman, 82, Can’t Believe Airport Scuffle

MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – An 82-year-old Mesquite woman who had forgotten to take her bipolar medication says she “can’t believe” she scuffled with an airport security officer in Kansas and is “so sorry it happened.”

Lila Mae Bryan says the confrontation ensued when Transportation Security Administration workers at Eisenhower International Airport in Wichita tried to confiscate her bottle of Bath and Body Works foaming hand gel.

The bottle exceeded the 3.4-ounce limit to take onboard.

The TSA says the 5-foot-2, 120-pound woman has apologized for walking around an X-ray screening belt early Wednesday morning and assaulting an officer.

The 37-year-old TSA officer wasn’t injured.

“I got mad, and I guess I hit him in the arm,” said Bryan.

Bryan is laughing about it now, but says she regrets losing her temper.

“I can’t believe I caused all this over a bottle of soap,” she said.

Bryan’s carry-on was flagged at a TSA checkpoint because of an 8 ounce bottle of hand soap she says she carries everywhere she goes.

“I don’t like to use bar soap and that’s all they have in hotels and motels is bar soap, so I always take some of this with me. I stick it in my suitcase, and this is the first time I’ve had it pulled.”

She said she started cursing in frustration.

“Thought I sounded like a sailor ‘cause I used such terrible words. I was very angry,” she said.

A TSA statement said Bryan went behind the X-ray machine and assaulted the agent.

“I don’t think I hit him very hard. I don’t think I broke his arm,” she said. “A Wichita policeman came and grabbed me by the arm and took me by the arm to a chair in the office.”

Bryan says she immediately offered to apologize. She says the police officer wouldn’t let her.

“No, you’ve already done it. It’s battery. That’s what you’re going to be charged with, and there’s nothing we can do about it ‘cause everybody saw it,” she recalls him saying.

Bryan was handcuffed and booked into jail.

When the local district attorney found out, though, he arranged for her release.

“I was a criminal!” Bryan said.

The news has surprised and amused Bryan’s family.

“My husband said last night he’s going to bed with a jail bird,” she said.

Bryan, though, says the DA assured her that her one and only arrest would soon be wiped from her record.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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