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21 Feb, 2013 20:08

TSA apologizes after picking wheelchair-bound child for security check

TSA apologizes after picking wheelchair-bound child for security check

Even though she passed through a security checkpoint at Missouri's Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, TSA agents picked a three-year-old girl in a wheelchair for additional screening. The agency is now apologizing for the incident.

Lucy Forck, who was on her way to Disney World, suffers from Spina bifida, a developmental disorder that prevents vertebrae and the spinal cord from fully forming. Lucy's spinal cord is partially exposed as a result.

"They specifically told me that they were singling her out for this special treatment because she's in a wheelchair," Nathan Forck, Lucy's father, told Fox News about the February 8 incident. "They are specifically singling out disabled people for this special scrutiny. It's rather offensive to me as a father of a disabled child."

Lucy's mother took out a video camera to catch the 45-minute incident on film after TSA agents insisted on patting the child down.

"It is against the law for you to record," a TSA agent is heard telling her at one point during the video. However, Nathan, who is a lawyer, knew this was untrue - so his wife continued to film the ordeal.

"You can't do touch my daughter unless I record it," she says in response.

During the incident an agent confiscated Lucy's stuffed animal Lamby, bringing the child to tears.

"I don't want to go Disney World," she can be heard saying.

After the video spread over the Internet, the TSA released a statement saying it "regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology," adding that it is indeed legal to film TSA agents while they work and noting that selecting a child as young as Lucy for a pat down "not proper procedure."

The Forcks say they accept the agency's apology and are not planning to go to court over the ordeal. "Our goal was to draw people's attention to it — to effect change," Nathan told the Riverfront Times.