TSA admits ‘bad judgment’ after taking toy from man with mental disability

Jun 17, 2011
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You can thank the TSA for making the world a safer place by confiscating a plastic toy hammer that a intellectually challenged 29-year-old might have used as a terrorist weapon on a flight headed to Walt Disney World.

Using superior skills to spot threats at Detroit Metro Airport, TSA agents singled out Drew Mandy at airport security and told him to place his feet on a yellow shoe line. When Drew failed to comply, his father, Dr. Mandy, told the agents that his son didn’t understand what he was being asked. Drew’s parents say he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old. But TSA ordered the father to back away while explaining, “Please, sir, we know what we’re doing.”

TSA agents then gave Drew an enhanced pat-down. The extra padding in his pants, which was actually an adult diaper, must have made Drew seem that much more like a terrorist. Security personnel insisted for Drew to rub his hands along the front and back of his pants so they could swab for explosive residue. Dr. Mandy tried again to explain his son’s disability and didn’t understand. TSA agents weren’t about to listen; after all, they’ve been trained to spot terrorists.

Sure enough, TSA agents spotted Drew’s “weapon” that he was attempting to smuggle onto a plane to terrorize all passengers. The weapons were a ball and a six-inch plastic toy hammer. Once more Dr. Mandy tried to talk to the agents. “My son carries his ball and his hammer for security.” Despite the dad adding that Drew had carried those toys everywhere with him for 20 years as a “security-blanket,” TSA agents were not about to fall for that.

One TSA agent, a master of security to keep our great nation safe, took the toy hammer and tapped the wall with it, saying, “See, it’s hard. It could be used as a weapon.” And yes, the scary lethal weapon was confiscated. If Drew wanted his toy back, the family would have to ship it to their destination.

Drew’s father, no doubt fed up and ready to pull out his hair, reluctantly tossed the toy or his family would have missed the plane to Disney World. According to MyFoxDetroit, Dr. Mandy said, “I understand they’re trying to keep people safe, but come on. Does he look like a terrorist?”

Later, Dr. Mandy wrote the TSA about this ridiculous and infuriating experience of TSA agents harassing his son. TSA PR jumped on it before calling it an “isolated case of bad judgment.” Never fear, those TSA agents would be “retrained” and never should have taken the plastic toy hammer.

Drew’s mother didn’t let her son’s trip be ruined to Disney. She had secretly packed a second plastic toy hammer in a backpack; it just so happened to pass through terrorist detecting airport security without an issue.

Image Credit: FOX News

Author: Tessa