A disabled 12-year-old girl was left in floods of tears when TSA agents detained her for nearly an hour at a Texas airport after they discovered what they thought was explosives residue on her hands, radaronline is reporting.
Shelbi Walser was traveling to Florida with her mom, Tammy Daniels, to seek treatment for a brittle bone disorder when officials detained her at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
However, rather than proof of the little girl being the next great terrorist mastermind, Shelbi's mom revealed the mystery substance was likely to have transferred to her daughter's hands from her wheelchair as she pushed it.
"There were people saying, 'Really? You're going to do this to her? Y'all have to take her somewhere private where she's not out in the public and everyone can see her,'" Shelbi told Fox in Fort Worth. "It was frightening. I kinda got mad."
In a video shot on December 8, TSA agents are captured detaining the poor weeping child in front of hundreds of travelers, and seen refusing to allow her mother to get close enough to comfort her.
"It's okay, you didn't do anything wrong, we're going to get you on your way," an agent is overheard telling Shelbi as she cries into her hands.
Shelbi believes that a simple check of her wheelchair could have prevented the incident.
"It could have come off fertilizer, because we have chickens," she told WFAA. "It could have just come off the ground, because I roll through everything."
Meanwhile, Shelbi's mother is furious over the way her daughter was treated.
"I am by no means undermining our safety in the air," she said. "After 9/11, by no means am I doing that. But when it comes to children, common sense is not in a textbook."
Despite the complaints, TSA has defended the incident, insisting the officers were just doing their jobs.
"We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels," it said in a statement.
"We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes."