Isabella Brademeyer, a 4-year-old from Montana, was deemed a high security threat by Transportation Security Administration officers after hugging her grandmother.
Isabella, her sister, her mother and her grandmother were traveling home to Montana after attending a wedding in Kansas.
The family passed through security scanners, but the grandmother triggered an alarm. Isabella ran back and hugged her grandmother. It was at this point that TSA officials thought the grandmother had handed Isabella a gun.
“It was implied, several times, that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter,” Isabella’s mother wrote on Facebook.
As any 4-year-old would do, Isabella ran from TSA officials.
One of the officials allegedly said that the airport would have to be shut down if Isabella did not cooperate.
“When my scared child could not do so, two TSOs called for backup saying, ‘The suspect is not cooperating.’ The suspect, of course, being a frightened child. They treated my daughter no better than if she had been a terrorist,” posted the mother.
Initially, the family was told by TSA agents that they would have to leave the airport because they would not frisk a 4-year-old. But age hasn’t stopped TSA in recent times. TSA has harassed a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and a 3-year-old in a wheelchair. In the end, Isabella was frisked as well.
Apparently, TSA officials who initially covered the situation passed the news on to other airports. In Denver, an airport employee asked the family to point out Isabella.
TSA responded to the incident: “TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper current screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.”