Video of TSA Giving Patdown to Boy in Body Cast and Wheelchair Goes Viral
We’ve seen them before: videos of the TSA giving patdowns to young children going through airport security lines. And almost every time, the videos go viral. Add another one to the list.
The latest video shows a young boy who apparently has broken his leg being chosen for extra screening. As he sits in a wheelchair and a body cast, a male TSA agent pats down the boy’s cast and swabs the boy and his wheelchair for explosive residue. As the agent talks soothingly to the boy, the boy’s father records the screening:
While the TSA agent, the boy, and the boy’s father remain calm, the father let his thoughts know by writing irate captions on the video:
So what do we know about the video? Not much beyond what it says. According to YouTube, it was uploaded on Saturday, March 17. The video’s description says the screening happened while on a family trip to Disney:
A toddler in a wheelchair is stopped by the TSA at ORD (O’Hare Airport in Chicago) and forced to into a sequestered area. On his way to a family vacation in Disney, this 3 year old boy is in a body cast for a broken leg. Despite assurances from his father that “everything is ok”, he is physically trembling with fear while he watches his two siblings, mother, father, grandfather and grandmother pass through along with everyone else…only to be singled out.
He simply does not understand what is happening and why.
That video description links to a website Mattdubiel.com and called Matt on Air. It’s unclear if the man featured on the site is the boy’s father. The description of the blogger describes him as a Chicago radio personality:
Chicago Magazine featured Matt Dubiel in 2005 as one of the “pioneers of podcasting”. Fast Company Magazine called Matt Dubiel “one of social media’s NEW stars” and one of the top 1% of influential people on the internet! Matt’s tenure as a veteran radio programmer in Chicago has lead to press in Crains Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, and the Huffington Post.
It features several videos from the YouTube channel that features the TSA video and the voice sounds familiar. A Google search reveals Dubiel is referred to as the general manger of radio station WJJG-AM 1530 in Chicago. Additionally, the Twitter account @mattonair — which also uses the name Matt Dubiel — features the same picture as the one on Mattdubiel.com:
It’s worth noting a few things with the latest video. It appears to show a screening that’s seemingly the result of the boy going through security in a large cast and a wheelchair. It does not appear he was randomly selected for additional screening. It also appears the TSA agent is calm, collected, and soothing. And finally, the video does not show if the father objected to any of the swabs or patdown or requested private screening. He may have have earlier, but we just don’t know from the video.
What do you think?
The boy’s father has now admitted the video is two years old, raising questions about why he’s just coming forward now. The TSA has responded that the video was taken before new screening procedures were put in place.
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