Developmentally disabled man harrassed by TSA at Detroit airport

A doctor reports that his developmentally disabled son was harrassed and traumatized by the Detroit airport TSA screeners, who wanted to investigate the "puffiness" caused by his adult diaper. They man, who is described as having the mental capacity of a two-year-old, also lost a beloved toy (a plastic hammer) because the TSA claimed it could be used as a weapon. The family was on their way to Walt Disney World.
"You have got to be kidding me. I honestly felt that those two agents did not know what they were doing," Mandy told us.

Dr. Mandy claimed they asked Drew to place his feet on the yellow shoe line, something he didn't understand. They proceeded to pat his pants down, questioning the padding which was his adult diapers. When the agents asked Drew to take his hand and rub the front and back of his pants so they could swab it for explosives, his dad stepped in and tried to explain that Drew was mentally challenged.

"They said, 'Please, sir, we know what we're doing,'" Mandy said.

The TSA agents saw Drew holding a six-inch plastic hammer.

"My son carries his ball and his hammer for security. He goes everywhere with (them)," said Mandy.

Dr. David Mandy: Special Needs Son Harassed by TSA at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (Thanks, lizditz!)


  1. “You’re not using good logic there. You’ve got to use actual intelligence that you received. And, so, you might — all you’ve given me is a kind of status. You have not given me a technique for tactic or behavior. Something that would suggest somebody is not Muslim, but Islamic, that has actually moved into the category of violent extremists,” like this mentally challenged fellow with the diaper and plastic hammer.

  2. “They said, ‘Please, sir, we know what we’re doing,'”


    If they knew what they were doing they would:

    1. Have real jobs
    2. Feel ashamed of themselves
    3. Feel ashamed of themselves for working for jerkoff outfit like the TSA, and get real jobs.

    Yeah yeah, I know… this evil doctor could have been hiding explosives in his son’s diaper. Everything and everyone is suspect. Just wondering if they were wearing Islamic garb as well.

    Once again. FTW.

  3. When the hell is our government going to step up and stop these assholes at the TSA? This is freaking ridiculous. They are literally at war with the American way of life and no one seems to care. Seal team six should be storming the headquarters of the DHS and hauling Janet Napalitano to Guantanamo bay.

    1. From this side of the pond, this rather looks like the American way of life – and like everything else that the US gets wrong, our government seems to be doing their best to emulate or exceed it.

  4. The main difference between the Cub Scouts and the TSA is that the Cub Scouts have adult leadership.

    1. The main difference between the Cub Scouts and the TSA is that the Cub Scouts have adult leadership.


    2. The main difference between the Cub Scouts and the TSA is that the Cub Scouts have adult leadership.

      Are you kidding? Cub Scouts get to learn cool and useful skills. Cub Scouts can grow up to be productive members of society. The differences between TSA and Cub Scouts are too numerous to mention.

  5. Clearly, if we fail to check developmentally challenged folk for bombs, terrorists will head straight out and plant bombs in developmentally challenged folk.


    1. Well, to be honest, the Ts already use developmentally challenged folk to deliver their bombs so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we would search them.

      The real solution* of course remains politically unpalatable so we let the Nepolitano’s of the world run around appearing sensible.

      Not to be cryptic, the real solution is, a) to stop supporting douchebag dictators in the muslim world, b) promoting American values in the world, c) unapologetically pointing out that American exceptionalism isn’t limited to Americans, anyone that accepts our core values will benefit.

      1. “promoting American values in the world”

        Not entirely sure what you mean by that. There are those values america claims to espouse, and those evidenced by american behavior.

  6. Please give credit where credit is due, these genius TSA’s realized how easy it would be to “play” the part of a developmentally challenged individual and with their superior Sherlock Holms type logic, followed up on what they thought would be the perfect ploy for hiding an explosive device or in the case of the “plastic” hammer a mind numbing laser.

    My hats off to the TSA’s

  7. So, the question in my mind is who was more “developmentally disabled”? The young man wearing the diaper and needing a small plastic hammer to feel secure, or the a-holes who felt the need to take his little plastic hammer away from him to feel secure…

  8. “When the hell is our government going to step up and stop these assholes at the TSA? This is freaking ridiculous. They are literally at war with the American way of life and no one seems to care. Seal team six should be storming the headquarters of the DHS and hauling Janet Napalitano to Guantanamo bay”

    That’s b/c they are all part of the same apparatus. If Napalitano had her way, it would BE seal team six putting you down. You’ll be finding men with automatic weapons mulling around airports eventually, it’s just a matter of time and one more fearmongering event.

    This makes me sick inside. Anyone who would do something like this is disturbed. I really don’t know how these agents live with themselves, apparently they are lacking something in their heads, like morals or any sense of right or wrong.

  9. Fucking infuriating. And don’t even try to reason with them, or worse, get upset with their behavior, or they’ll lock you in the plexi-booth for hours and revoke your travel privileges forever. I am disgust.

  10. The TSA exists to make us not want to fly. if we increase traffic much more we’d have to invest in a whole new air traffic system. The TSA is much cheaper.

  11. Why aren’t out congressmen standing up for us? Why aren’t people on thier case to tell them we want the laws changed?

    1. Because in the rapid fire media cycle, someone will attempt to paint them as being soft on terrorism. This will cause them to backpedal and toe the line or demand more insane “protection”.

      People are so screwed up with fear they willingly accept anything that will protect them from the boogeyman.

  12. it’s amazing how they claim to “know what we are doing” when the father steps in to try and explain why his son might not be responding to their requests… I had the back of my pants rubbed down by TSA leaving the Las Vegas airport because of some gemming/designs on the back pockets, but the lady who did it didn’t start talking to me like I was a suspected terrorist or something, just asked if it was ok and asked if there was some design on them cause it shows up on the scanner. some people need to use a little more common sense…

  13. “I had the back of my pants rubbed down by TSA leaving the Las Vegas airport… but the lady who did it didn’t start talking to me like I was a suspected terrorist or something, just asked if it was ok…”

    While you were LEAVING the airport? The lady asked you if it was ok? Something’s missing from this story.

    I mean I might be ok with some ‘lady’ from the TSA rubbing down the back of my pants too, depending on her looks and if she asked if it was ok, too.

    1. leaving as in getting on the plane to return home. I was a little tired when I posted that.. and it was a female TSA as I am female

  14. I feel like the Diaper loving/Adult Baby community needs to stage a mass flight wearing the most padded diapers possible and make the TSA folks feel as uncomfortable as possible.

  15. I’m delighted. The more the TSA engage in behaviour that is clearly disgusting, inhuman and tyrannical, the sooner we are likely to get rid of them. Give them enough rope…

    I have every sympathy for the family and I certainly wish they had been spared this. But at the same time, I’m of the opinion that this works towards a win for the common people.

    1. @shadowfirebird
      You think so? Really? Take a look at the story below this one, the story about the Miami police. Do you think anything is going to change there? If not, why do you think that someone upsetting this guy is going to change the TSA?

      The problem is that the TSA could KILL someone (Actually, if I recall, they HAVE) and it won’t matter in the long run.

      Scary, but here we are.

    2. I often feel the same way about such things, only to be invariably disappointed.

      First-worlders don’t revolt; there’s always enough soma on hand to prevent it.

  16. How precisely does one take down a plane with a toy hammer?

    Ugh, I literally felt ill reading this.

  17. uhhhh … go by car. VW California.

    How can this organisation exist in an advanced democracy?

    Rise up people, and revolt.

  18. As much as I hate to overquote Benjamin Franklin, one could easily copy&paste this blindly into anything that has the words TSA in the header and you’d be relevant at least 95% of the time:

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Well, I do not know how well Ben applies here, but what is true that every time I hear a TSA story, I feel the terrorist, while not having won, have at least acheived one of the main objectives of terrorism: To create strife and to create insecurity. They’ve managed to dehumanize vast parts of the western justice system just dandy. Whether this is because of their actions, or because their actions gave our inherently flawed governments an excuse to seize our liberties is up for discussion certainly, but as Ceronomus said, here we are.

    We are currently living in a time where everyone distrusts everyone, where the greatest enemy of the government appears to be the public itself, which is, I am sure you will agree, a most unhealthy mindset to hold for the people who are supposed to protect us. So far, they’re just making us angry.

    And formenting unrest is also one of the main objectives of terrorism. So there you have it. Excuse the Hyperbole, but Terrorism Support Agency might also be an apt acronym, because with every citizen they abuse, with every pig-headed new “security” regulation, with every injustice, they become the monsters they set out to fight.

    Nietzsche would be simultaneously proud and disgusted at this mind-boggling tragedy. Sure, so far it’s mostly limited to the USA, but these things have the habit of spreading along the major avenues of travel, just like any other disease.

  19. I have nothing to say that would be better than the founding fathers have said. BTW they are rolling over right about now.

    But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. – John Adams

    If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. – Alexander Hamilton

    Don’t know who said the quote below, but I still like it.

    Four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soapbox, ballot box, jury box, ammo box – use in that order. Two down, two to go.

  20. My step-daughter is Autistic, last year we flew from Phoenix to Dallas for an Autism Conference. On the way back the TSA pulled her aside for extra screening. Her version of the ball and hammer is a bag of modeling clay. That was in her backpack, and had gotten wrapped up in her headphones & mp3 player. So on the x-ray the agents saw wires, electronics and a mass of something.

    The TSA screeners were professional, as they swabbed down my wifes wheelchair & step-daughters backpack asked her about the clay and when she gave them her rehearsed lines, “I am Autistic, I use the clay as a self calming method.” The agents understood and allows us to go on our way.

    Not all the TSA Agents are Jackbooted thugs but the ones that are give the rest a bad name.

  21. The TSA has become a giant Stanford prison experiment.

    I seriously would love to read Philip Zimbardo’s thoughts on it… really… BB, any chance you could make that happen?

  22. I have to wonder if someone dressed up in a large diaper, a-frame t-shirt (can’t be shirtless), bib, flip flops, and a giant rattle how that’d go over? Preferably a rather rotund man. I wonder if you could put some of those liquid filed push up bra inserts in the diapers just to throw them off… So much epicness.

  23. This is not the country I grew up in, and I will no longer be a citizen of the United States by the end of this year. Intelligent people will do the same.

  24. They are literally at war with the American way of life and no one seems to care. Seal team six should be storming the headquarters of the DHS and hauling Janet Napalitano to Guantanamo bay.

    Yeah “literally”, thanks to all you hysterical astro-turfing libertarian critical thinkers for making these stories so interesting.

  25. We should lay off the TSa they protect us by catching terrorists like… oh wait they’ve never caught a terrorist, have they?

  26. I’m a little reluctant to fly to Vancouver this fall for this very reason. I’m terrified of the TSA but also really want to visit the west coast. I’ve never been there. Sadly, I don’t get enough vacation time NOT to fly out there. Otherwise I’d just be driving out and then back home. I’m investigating taking the train but its like being in a hotel room on tracks. Not so much fun.

    I’m into the goth scene and have some pretty scant outfits. I’m also contemplating wearing something like that through security. Like a full latex cat suit. Can’t wear platform boots (might have hidey holes) and can’t wear stilettos (could be construed as a weapon) so matching footwear is difficult. No chains, studs or pointy chokers. Nothing like being a freak in public!

    1. Sweet! IMO you should just wear trainers or something – a, cause if you’re gonna be a total freak you might as well be comfy, and b, cause you’ll look like even more of a freak than with matching shoes.

  27. It’s what happens when the richest have a winning grip; governments cease attempting more than merely being seen to be doing their jobs entirely.

  28. I think the best part is that the doctor’s wife had a spare toy hammer in her backpack and that got through security no problem… Gotta love the consistence here.

  29. It’s amazing how well this line from Deus Ex (released in 2000) fits today.

    “When government surveillance and intimidation is called ‘freedom from terrorism’ or ‘liberation from crime,’ freedom and liberty have become words without meanings.”

  30. i am absolutely outraged that you people are not doing anything to change this. Its not only your representatives work, its as if you missed the definition of democracy in gradeschool. Absolutely disgusting.

  31. No excuses for this behavior. Bad training. Stupid agents. But it is very helpful to inform the airliner, when ordering the tickets, that one is for a disabled person. They are really good about informing everyone ahead of time about the potential difficulties involved. Our experience has been very positive. Everyone was very helpful and understanding. Just some thoughts for anyone dreading this kind of inexcusable treatment.

    By the way – I tried to create account, but encountered a “confirmation” error. This is NOT an intentional anonymous posting.

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