By Melissa Scheffler
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
8:03 PM PDT, April 24, 2012
This story started more than a week ago. Now, it's getting a lot of national attention. Michelle Brademeyer says on their way out of Wichita, she and her children made it through security.
However, their grandmother had to go through a pat-down after setting-off an alarm. Brademeyer says her four-year-old ran to her grandmother to give her a hug. But that set-off an emotional chain reaction.
According to Brademeyer's Facebook page, a TSA agent began yelling at her daughter and demanded she undergo a full body pat-down after hugging her grandmother.
Brademeyer writes, "It was implied, several times, that my Mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter." She says her child was "terrified." And she was told "to have no contact with her child.” Her four-year-old refused to spread her arms and legs and ran away. After Brademeyer describes a long emotional ordeal, she says Isabella was cleared through security.
The TSA sent FactFinder 12 this response: "... the child had completed screening, but had contact with another member of her family who had not completed the screening process. While it was explained to family members why additional security procedures were necessary in this instance, TSA officers did not suspect or suggest the child was carrying a firearm."
Wichita aviation expert Dean Headley says this whole situation may have something to do with inexperienced travelers. He says it's our job, as airline passengers, to know the security rules.
"Parents nowadays, because of the nature of the TSA and the rules that they go to, need to be well-educated themselves and at least give their kids a warning or a heads up of what's liable to be happening,” Headley said.
Headley says the child may have reacted normally. As for the TSA agents...
"They react to rules they have--which they cannot tell us exactly what those are for our own safety reasons,” Headley said.
We asked one mother how she would feel about a pat-down of her three-year-old daughter.
"I think we would be okay as long as mom was right there with her. But it is a little invasive for such a young child,” mother Gina Love said.
Brademeyer says she was eventually allowed to hold her daughter, while agents checked her body. She says she has filed complaints with the airport and TSA.
We tried reaching-out to Brademeyer. But she did not respond. The TSA says it has reviewed the incident. And, it has determined its officers followed the proper current screening procedures for the little girl.