Father outraged over TSA pat-down of daughter, 10, at airport

NBC News image

A father is outraged over what he sees as an over-aggressive TSA pat-down of his 10-year-old daughter that dragged on for nearly two minutes.

Kevin Payce says he’s a big advocate of security, but is outraged over a pat-down that he says made him and his 10-year-old daughter feel very uncomfortable while traveling through Raleigh-Durham International Airport last Wednesday.

It’s something that he now says should have never happened.

Payce used his cell phone camera to record his daughter receiving what he believed to be an unnecessary and invasive TSA patdown.

“She just had a completely blank stare on her face. I could tell it was very uncomfortable for her,” said Payce.

The video shows the agent slowly and meticulously frisking the 10-year-old girl for nearly two full minutes.

“What was going through my mind is ‘This is annoying. I don’t like this. I wanna run out the door’,” said Vandela Payce.

The girl was screened after a Capri Sun juice packet was found in her carry-on. According to her father, a swab from her bag came back with a false/positive reading.

“The pat-down seemed to be the “go-to” option for them and I think they could’ve done a better scrutiny of what they were looking for prior to putting their hands all over my 10-year-old daughter,” said Payce.The issue over whether children should receive pat-downs is controversial.

The issue over whether children should receive pat-downs is controversial.

According to TSA protocols, “Officers will work with parents to resolve any alarms at the checkpoint… and has modified screening procedures for children 12 and under that reduce the likelihood of pat-down screening.”

In a statement to NBC News, TSA says: “TSA screening procedures allow for the pat-down of a child under certain circumstances. The process by which the child was patted down followed approved procedures.”

The TSA also points out that the process was observed by the child’s parent and there was a cell phone with an alarm going off in the child’s bag, requiring additional resolution procedures.

As for the Payces, they understand the importance of airline security. But feel, when it comes to kids there has to be a better way.

“Maybe they did everything by the book. I don’t really know, but it was an uncomfortable situation,” said Payce.

Payce says he contacted his congressional representatives and will be filing a formal complaint.

NBC News image
NBC News image

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