A San Diego man is speaking out after his 10-year-old daughter was subject to almost two minutes of frisking after she accidentally left a Capri Sun juice pouch in her bag at the airport.
Vendela Payne was passing through the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on December 30 when U.S. Transportation Security Administration agents found the liquid pouch.
Then they decided to do a swab of the bag and a false-positive test for explosives, then a nearly 2-minute-long full-body pat-down in which a female TSA agent touched the girl’s buttocks and groin repeatedly, father Kevin Payne told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The whole ordeal lasted about an hour.
“I’m a very big proponent of security, and if they were patting me down no problem, but this was a 10-year-old girl,” Payne said. “The whole system seems to not work the way it should be working.”
Payne recorded video of the incident despite TSA agents telling him he couldn’t film, by asserting his rights.
He tried to stay calm and help his girl with the situation by making funny faces, but she had difficulty with it herself.
“My dad was making funny faces silly faces in the mirror and I felt like screaming the whole time,” she told NBC.
She added that she kept herself together because she didn’t want to “throw a tantrum like a 1-year-old.”
Nico Melendez, a spokesman for TSA, said in a statement that the pat-down was warranted.
“Since pat-down screening is conducted to determine whether prohibited items are concealed under clothing, sufficient pressure must be applied in order to ensure detection,” the statement said.
Payne is considering making a formal complaint, and is thinking about consulting an attorney.