Disabled elderly man detained by TSA, misses flight

There’s been so much abuse by the TSA over the past several days it’s hard to keep up. From the deaf man who was mocked to the Make-A-Wish child who was hassled to the woman who was strip-searched and whose feeding tube was contaminated to the whole host of disabled people who’ve been abused, we now add the story of an elderly disabled man traveling with an oxygen machine who was detained, grilled, scanned three times, and made to miss his flight. Oh, and his daughter was threatened for good measure.     

Primo Meza and his stepdaughter were going through security at the Des Moines airport when Meza’s pacemaker apparently set off an alarm. The crack team of TSA clerks immediately suspected him of nefarious intent:

In the time it took agents to determine Meza was not a security threat, his batteries depleted to the point where it was not safe for him to fly home. His daughter says she tried to plug in the machine during the screening process, but was told she couldn’t.

“When I tried to walk towards him they surrounded me and told me I couldn’t touch him and I said I need . . . I told them like five times I needed to plug him in so that he didn’t lose his battery life,” Tonya Gahagan said, “and they adamantly said I could not.”

And why couldn’t she? Because those electrical outlets are special. They can be used only for screening purposes, not for, oh, say, saving a man’s life.

Just think of the possibilities: a whole cadre of elderly disabled people from Florida, like Meza, could be armed to the teeth and descend on a checkpoint en masse, all claiming that the batteries to their oxygen machines have run out. Why, if the TSA let them all plug their weaponized machines into the outlets, everything could go kaboom!

We can’t allow that. Not in the Land of the Free.

Any bets on how long it takes until the TSA comes out with a public statement that “proper procedures were followed”?

So what if Meza missed his plane? After all, you know the saying: Anything For Safety!

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/vintagedept)

  • Old_NFO

    OH yeah, “Proper Procedures”… Just like the Nazis…

  • annmc

    How does TSA they get away with this? If there are terrorists at the airport it sure sound lilke TSA goons are the terrorists! What happened to the rights of American citizens? Oh yeah! the obama administration has thrown them in the trash!

    • annmc, let’s be clear: the TSA is a bipartisan abomination. Both Republicans and Democrats created it and continue to sustain it. More of the worthless wankers in Congress themselves and their family members need to be abused before anything will change.

  • MannieP

    Basically, if it’s less than about 1000 miles, I’ll drive. T&A make travel more dangerous and certainly less convenient.

    Shut up and eat your cake.

    • MannieP, totally agree. I stopped flying two years ago, though I love travel more than I can say and have always considered it an integral part of my life. But I refuse to be bullied, harassed, threatened, robbed, or sexually assaulted by these thugs.

      As I’ve said and written till I’m blue in the face, if everyone who can choose not to fly would do so, we’d bring the airlines to their knees. Then things would change. But Americans, who talk a good game about “freedom” and “democracy” and “values,” can’t be bothered to make the smallest sacrifice or endure the tiniest bit of inconvenience for their supposed principles.

      The rallying cry of this country used to be “Give me liberty or give me death!” Now it’s “Don’t inconvenience me!”

  • Tin-pot tyrants, all of them.

  • JIm Beam

    This is what you get when you empower 10 dollar an hour wanta be cops, by giving them the authority to act on behalf of the police, when was the last time an american citizen has ever tried to cause harm at the airport much less to a plane they intend to be on. The TSA has gotten way out of hand and should be disbanned as we dont even need this kind of scrutiny by these kind of degenerates

  • TSA is the feces that is created when a combination of shame and Terroristaphobia by both Republicans and Democrats… eat too much stupid!

  • Oscar

    I think the TSA does this kind of stuff deliberately. I think the organization as a whole is on a massive power trip and wants to make the public feel like they are utterly powerless in their dealings with the TSA. And what better way to achieve this than to harass travelers in the most outrageous ways possible, to see their harassment get maximum publicity, and for the public to see that no action is ever taken against the TSA agents who abuse people like this? Eventually the message will sink in: we (the TSA) can do anything we want to you, and you are utterly powerless against us.

  • Shadow_58

    The TSA period is nothing but a joke. These thugs believe they can do anything to anyone, at any time. The American people need to rise up against these thugs and their bosses.

  • isn’t it time to find where these creep live and run them out of your neighborhood. maybe shut off there means of life not allow them to leave there home they are a security risk to us….

  • danlb0y

    My 81 year old mother lost a 300.00 coat being shuffled through countless screenings. She didn’t miss her flight, but there were a lot of aggravated people that had connecting flights. She has two metal knees and a hip replacement. She also has metal bars in her back, and is wheelchair bound while flying. She was terribly confused as she has moderate dementia. I had to try and talk to her through the glass to keep her calm. A TSA agent would try and stand between me and my mother as I would try and console her.
    I know the IRS will be more compassionate as our healthcare provider.


    • MelloRed

      They’ll be more compassionate than an insurance company interested in finding any way they can to not cover you. I guess I can deal with that crap when it comes to my car or house, but not my life.

      • joseph

        I wouldn’t bet money on your assumption. At least insurance companies can be taken to court. And since I’ve actually been in the insurance business for a while, I can tell you straight up that they don’t want to go to court.

        It always pays to know what you’re buying.

  • cjr001

    It is only a matter of time before TSA kills somebody.

    • Silence Dogood

      And mark my words, it will somehow be twisted to be the passenger’s fault.

      • Obviously it will be the passenger’s fault. The passengers are responsible for knowing what is in the SOP, even though they are not allowed to see it.