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Video: TSA Screening of Wheelchair-Bound Toddler Sparks Outrage

Video from 2010 shows airport screener patting down 3-year-old boy in wheelchair.


Video of an airport screener patting down a 3-year-old boy in a wheelchair has gone viral and fueled sharp criticism of the Transportation Security Administration.

Posted on YouTube Saturday night by the child's father, the video had more than 500,000 hits as of Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Matt DuBiel, the father of Rocco DuBiel, videotaped the incident in the spring of 2010 at Chicago's Midway International Airport. He posted the video after rediscovering it last week, saying he became enraged anew when reviewing it, CNN reported.

"There is another human being putting their hands on my child. That is not acceptable," he told CNN. "If he was putting his hands on my child at McDonald's or anyplace else, we would immediately have him arrested and call the police."

The video sparked fresh criticism of the TSA by YouTube viewers, with one commenter calling it "totally unacceptable," CNN reported.

"I look at the abject terror in this tiny child's eyes, and I know who caused it," the commentator wrote. "I know who the terrorist is -- it's the creep in the blue shirt."

The TSA stressed that the episode happened before the agency changed its guidelines for child screenings, NBC Chicago reported.

"The new modified screening measures have greatly reduced, though not eliminated, pat-downs of children," the TSA said in a statement. "While recognizing that terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection, our officers continue to work with parents to ensure a respectful screening process for the entire family at the checkpoint."

The TSA said the boy was given extra attention because his wheelchair couldn't pass through the metal detector, NBC Chicago reported.