Report: TSA Has No Idea How To Screen A 7-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy

The tiny (potential) terrorists of the world continue to wreak havoc at airport security checkpoints. We already brought you the story of the 4-year-old who dared to hug her grandmother in view of TSA screeners, and now comes the tale of a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose crutches and leg braces reportedly confounded security personnel at JFK Airport.

The girl’s parents tell that they know their daughter needs to go through a pat-down when she flies because her crutches and braces throw off the scanners and other detectors.

But, says her father, the family recently missed their flight out of JFK because the TSA screeners were not only rude, but also could not decide how to properly screen his daughter.

Because their daughter is developmentally disabled and can react negatively to being inspected by strangers, the parents say they usually ask the screeners performing the pat-down to introduce themselves to the little girl.

“[T]he woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” the father recalls.

Things seemed to be okay after a supervisor decided that searching the girl’s crutches would suffice.

But after the family had been sitting at the gate for an hour, the TSA suddenly decided it hadn’t done its job and it needed everyone to come back to the checkpoint to re-screen the girl.

When that was all done, the family say they attempted to race through the terminal to make their flight but they were too late and had to be re-booked onto a later flight.

The TSA gave Consumerist the following statement:

TSA takes all passengers claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed. A TSA manager determined that a TSA officer did not complete the screening procedure on the child.

When the checkpoint manager learned that the screening was not completed, TSA officers went to the gate and offered to conduct a modified pat-down at the gate, or back at the checkpoint, where there is a separate screening room for privacy. The family ultimately returned to the checkpoint to complete the screening process.

TSA officers strive to screen passengers respectfully while ensuring the safety of all travelers.



Edit Your Comment

  1. admiralriker says:

    I just can’t understand why the TSA can still be this dumb and still exist…

    • dolemite says:

      Lots of palms were greased to bring the TSA and it’s ultra expensive scanners, etc into existence. Just like any time the government takes or grants itself more power, it’s here to stay forever. I can’t recall the government ever giving up power that it had taken.

    • shepd says:

      Because most of you voted for them.

      There are options on your ballot which would not result in this situation. They just aren’t in the two most popular.

      • Cat says:

        “None of the above” or “Mickey Mouse”?

        Because I believe no matter who is president, this shit will continue.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Uh, no, in many states, there are only two candidates on the ballot in a given election. You can write-in a candidate, but that’s certainly not going to work outside of your locality, especially in a majority of states where it would be impossible for a candidate to wage a successful write-in campaign without $Millions of their own funds.

    • Marlin says:

      Follow the money trail, its election season.

    • bluline says:

      Because most people are sheep and do whatever they are told without question. The government loves this, by the way. As far as they are concerned, the more docile and compliant we are, the better.

      • msbask says:

        This is absolutely true. Ask any 10 people you know, and 9 people will give you the “I don’t care what they do, as long as I’m safer” line.

    • impatientgirl says:

      No, the answer is that we as the public refuse to fly unless we absolutely have to. My family won’t fly unless we have to ie husband to work in Australia for two weeks. Thinking of a vacation on the opposite coast? Nope. Find somewhere else that you can drive to. The TSA won’t change until the airlines want them to change (ie lobby) and that won’t happen until it hits them in the pocketbook.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Stop putting up with this. Everyone just say NO!

    • Difdi says:

      Because the terrorists they are looking for mostly don’t exist, and the ones that aren’t imaginary are mostly stupider than the TSA.

  2. dulcinea47 says:

    How safe does it make you feel that people can be at the gate (ie freely moving around in the terminal) for an hour and then suddenly the TSA needs to rescreen them?

    She could have passed a gun to a four year old! Shut everything down!!!

    • nicoleintrovert says:

      Happened to me and my husband! Supposedly they were supposed to screen us a little extra and didn’t. There was a letter on our boarding pass that signified this and TSA would stamp it to show it had been done. Well… once we were at the gate about to board the agent said, “Oh we can’t let you on, you were supposed to have additional screening and they didn’t do it!”

      Ensue running through Sea-Tac at top speed to get back to security for a STAMP and running back to the gate. We made the flight but barely. If we were with a child (special needs or not) there would have been no way we’d have made it.

    • scoosdad says:

      Hidden inside a teddy bear!!!

  3. Hoss says:

    I’m no lawya, but sounds like negligence of duties that caused lots of hardship (missed flights, time spent, etc) , including emotional…

  4. George4478 says:

    >>”[T]he woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” the father recalls.

    I want to see the security video. Or video made by all the other nearby passengers with their phones. Such a tantrum would be too juicy not to be filmed by someone.

    OTOH, there have been several instances of people blowing things waaaayyy out of proportion to what actually happened.

    • Hoss says:

      I can see how this would happen. The parent requested a calming introduction, “Hi Sally, my name is Hilda, I’m not gonna hurt you…” and agent didn’t follow through. Things got heated and the agent might have said “will you let me do my damn job!!”

      • publicblast says:

        Sorry, if I’m in a security line and trying to reach my own flight on time, I’m not going to bother filming a TSA agent tantrum unless someone’s being assaulted.

        • George4478 says:

          OK, so you are not posting these videos on YouTube. Thousands of other people are.

        • JennQPublic says:

          You have to start recording as soon as the tantrum gets going, so you will be ready when they start assaulting someone.

          In the future, I will always have my cell phone ready to record at TSA checkpoints. Not because I’m some kind of activist, but because I love juicy YouTube videos.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Actually, I can believe it. If you look at the article on, he says he started recording video of them on his cell after they started to get aggressive. TSA screeners seem to think they have to stop all video at checkpoints by any means.

      • George4478 says:

        By his own account he should have video evidence of this screaming and yelling and cussing. He was recording them and THEN they started screaming/yelling/cursing at him while he was recording. Where is his video of the incident? He never mentions it again. If the TSA had forced him to delete his evidence of the encounter you know that would have been a prominent point in the news article.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          the TSA baggage agent stole it out of his luggage of course. isn’t that how it works?

  5. kathygeorge says:

    I am not a terrorist and have no firsthand knowledge of how they think. I don’t even fly. That said, if I were a terrorist, might I not give my explosives/weapons/whatever to someone who would not be suspected of carrying/wearing them? The recurrent indignation about TSA inspecting children puzzles me. Wouldn’t they be ideal little victims for terrorists to use?

    • chefboyardee says:

      Agreed. I read the stories about people flipping out about a 4 year old getting a pat down and think, just like hackers know that your o=0 and e=3 crap from your password, terrorists know that they’re most likely to get “fill in the blank” through by sending it through with a grandmom in a wheelchair or a small child on crutches, etc.

      If you’re on board with ANY of this TSA security theater BS, you have to be on board with all of it.

      Personally, I am on board with none of it, but whatever. I don’t fly either. I lurrrrve road trips.

      • Darsynia says:

        Except a lot of the outrage comes from the ways in which the screenings were done. The four year old you mentioned was kept away from her parents and screamed at to stop crying. Anyone with a tiny amount of knowledge of children’s behaviors would know that can only ever make a bad situation worse. It’s less about the screenings themselves than the ways they’re being implemented. If the TSA had simply said ‘oh, regulations state that if someone is in contact with a person who has yet to clear security, they must be re-scanned. Please bring your child back into the screening area and keep them calm and we’ll try to get this done as quickly as possible’ the parents probably wouldn’t have elevated the situation to anything more than a ‘oh, TSA’ story to tell family and friends.

    • Bill610 says:

      If I were a terrorist, and the TSA was a deterrent to my efforts to blow up or hijack planes, I would have probably already blown up some shopping malls, buses or other things by now…or just blown myself up in the security line where everybody’s waiting to catch a plane.

      If I were a terrorist, I would have figured out that I could keep trying to smuggle my knife or liquid explosives onto a plane until I succeeded, since TSA simply confiscates these things and lets me go on my way.

      If I were a terrorist, I’d probably be smart enough to know that I could never pull off another 9/11, TSA notwithstanding, because the passengers would pound me into a fine paste if I tried.

      In short, if I were the kind of terrorist the TSA pretends to be on the lookout for, I probably don’t exist.

      • Rocket80 says:


      • imasqre says:


        Malls are so vulnerable but no one will pay attention to them until one is blown up. The ease it is to get into the side hallways and storage units of each and every mall I have worked with makes me scared for the safety of the workers and customers.

        • Conformist138 says:

          I have the opposite view- we live with these “security loopholes” everywhere and few of us are ever blown up by terrorists (heck, being killed by a normal criminal is pretty rare in the grand scheme). In the end, I rarely worry much about safety beyond the most basic day-to-day measures (look both ways before crossing the street, don’t get into a stranger’s van, etc) since it’s just pointless and we always focus on the wrong dangers anyway. I should be more terrified of going into a 7-11 than boarding a plane in terms of probability of getting killed.

      • Peri Duncan says:

        The strongest weapon we have for flight safety now is the passengers. 9/11 ended the conventional wisdom that compliance was necessary for survival in a hijacking. Pax aren’t going to stand for anything out of the ordinary–they’ve demonstrated they’ll even restrain out-of-control crew members. Keeping that in mind, we could go back to 2001 screening procedures and be just as safe as we supposedly are now, and we could regain our dignity and right to control who touches our (and our children’s) bodies.

    • dulcinea47 says:

      You are missing the point. It’s not about whether everyone should be screened or not. Yes, even a four year old or a kid on crutches needs to be go through some kind of security check before getting on a plane.

      The problem is that the screeners are completely incompetent. They don’t know what to do when faced with any situation outside of the norm. They treat people rudely- lots of people, regardless of age. Small children end up terrified. People miss their flights due to the TSAs indecisiveness. It’s NOT OKAY for those things to happen, not to anyone. It’s not making people safer at all (this particular story horrifies me, b/c if the kid *were* a terrorist, she could have easily handed something off to someone else between going to the gate and being called back to be re-screened!). At the very least it’s inconvenient and at worst it’s robbing people of their rights.

      • BobOki says:

        Awesome reply. Simple and too the point, explaining in layman’s terms what the actual issues we have are. Start a blog man… one where you explain the whats and whys of issues for our OLD SENILE idiots in office to read and understand.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Any how are they going to do that? Are they going to grab the little girl, strap a bomb to her, and slip her back without her parents noticing? I always love this ridiculous f*cking argument, especially from morons who don’t even fly. Stop watching so much f*cking TV and see the world instead. Maybe then you would realize that families, especially American families, are not a cluster of terrorists hell bent on blowing up the plane. And no, some terrorist did not kidnap one of the family’s other children and demand that the parents carry out their dastardly plan or they’ll kill the child. Real life is not a movie.

  6. Kestris says:

    My older brother has CP. He had to have surgery when he was younger than her, to straighten and lengthen the muscles in his legs so he could walk. Kudos to her for being able to walk now, that’s a big thing for someone with CP.

    Shame on the TSA for not having one whit of decency anymore. Did all their common sense get zapped by the backscatter machines?!?

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Decency is not a job requirement for TSA agents; common decency is probably something they are not supposed to have in the first place. Being willing to molest people, including children, IS a job requirement.

      Sometimes I think the TSA people have a secret poll, and the agent that causes the most people to miss their flight wins the poll for the day. Also do they get extra bonus pay for making children cry?

  7. crispyduck13 says:

    These fucking idiots do nothing, absolutely NOTHING to improve our safety. I feel really bad for the family.

    Just a couple weeks ago I was flagged and had to have my bag searched because of my digital micrometer. Yes apparently the occasional loaded gun, knives, scissors, etc are totally cool but dammit, your tool there is over 7″ long and we have to inspect it! By the way what is it?

    Keep up the good work you assholes.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I can’t believe these parents who think their special snowflake deserves special treatment, like leg braces and crutches. And then get bent out of shape when they don’t behave and act out when fondled by the TSA.

    Wrangle your kids, and stop treating them like they are special.

    • Kestris says:

      Psst, you forgot your sarcasm tag.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I’d hoped it wasn’t necessary.

        • Kestris says:

          This is the Internet, it’s nearly always going to be necessary, unfortunately.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          I can’t believe these internet commenters who think their sarcasm doesn’t require a qualifier, like /s tags. And then get bent out of shape when other commenters don’t get their sarcasm and call them on it.

          Wrangle your comments, and stop treating them like they are special.


          P.S. This was meant in the nicest possible way, I couldn’t resist after the last /s quibble we had.

  9. cspschofield says:

    It’s looking more and more as if the formation of the TSA was a covert effort to identify the biggest nitwits in government service, and collecting them together for easy disposal. If I were working for TSA at this point I would not only quite, I would move and change my name.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    Introduce yourself to the girl with her parents standing by, check her crutches and braces, scan her for metal objects, proceed to your destination.

    How fuc*ing hard is that TSA? Do you not hire people who can think for themselves or are they so scared to lose their jobs that they don’t dare use their own good judgement?

    • HalOfBorg says:

      Well, assuming the leg braces are metal then the scanning bit gets harder – thus the need for the pat down.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Dad pulled out a video-capable phone and started recording after the woman began acting aggressive, and she got even more aggressive, now towards him.

      Two things that seem to cause panic attacks at the chekpoint (in TSA employees) are passengers who are different than the norm and passengers who decide to record their CP experience.

  11. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    All this theater, and my understanding is that a lot of cargo going into commercial passenger aircraft – such as mail or coffins – doesn’t really get screened at all. If something bad happens it isn’t going to be because a passenger got past TSA and brought a weapon on the aircraft. After 9/11, anyone trying a stunt is going to get jumped by the other pax in a heartbeat. Instead, something will get into the cargo hold and it will be an inside job.

  12. Hartwig says:

    It seems like all of these issues occur because of a lack of training. I would be curious to hear what level of training these officers receive when they start to work for the TSA.

  13. Froggee285 says:

    I am picturing a secret terrorist meeting in a cave somewhere, with a wireless internet connection, one of them crossing off items on a terrorist idea notepad…
    “Strap bombs onto four year olds” “Nope, cross it off…heres the link…”
    “What about this one, hide bombs on a handicapped child! We can hide the wires in the leg braces!” “Naw, they got that one too! Look at this link!”
    “What about disguising our people as TSA agents?” “Ooooooh, thats a good one, circle that…those people get away with everything”

  14. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    The best security of all isn’t more TSA. It is a few free tickets to active duty marines or special forces members. Sit a few in the first row right behind the cockpit, and a few in the last row.

  15. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Shouldn’t the TSA have shut down the entire airport, rescanned everyone in the airport, and called back any flights that had taken off in during the hour since the family had initially left the screening area? Just like the granny and the 4 year old a few days ago, this little terrorist could have slipped the weapons she was carrying to anybody in the airport during the time between the two screenings.

    • Gorbachev says:


      The terrorist could’ve handed the bombs over to anyone else who is beyond the security checkpoint, including people who already boarded planes. They should’ve called all planes that took off during that hour back to the airport as well.

      Not only did TSA fail to treat people with the minimum of respect and decency, they also completely and utterly failed at doing the one job they’re supposed to do.

      TSA should be eliminated.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      That’s what I was wondering about. I guess they just weren’t on THAT big of a power trip that day…

  16. Nidoking says:

    “TSA officers strive to screen passengers respectfully while ensuring the safety of all travelers.”

    If you don’t get on the plane, you’re neither a passenger nor a traveler. Success!

  17. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    strive but fail.

  18. Bladerunner says:

    Report: TSA Has No Idea How To Screen.


  19. TheDudeOC says:

    The parents should have never gone back for a re-screening. Once you clear the TSA checkpoints and enter the “sterile area” e.g. terminal, the TSA has ZERO authority. These parents should have talked to the airline gate agent, or better yet, refused and called airport police. JFK in particular seems to be having issues with their TSA agents pulling stunts like this and trying to intimidate passengers. The TSA should be disbanded and replaced by actual law enforcement personnel – not McDonald’s rejects.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      I agree about replacing the TSA, yes, bring in real professionals. Taught by Israel.

      But advising them to disobey the TSA drones – I do not imagine it would have gone well – even though it’s the very thing I would want to do.

      • TheDudeOC says:

        It’s not disobeying – the TSA have no authority or right to be able to call them back to screening.

        • mikedt says:

          Fat chance the airline gate attendant is going to let you on the plane with a TSA rep standing there saying you didn’t get screened properly. And we’ve all read how quickly they (airlines/tsa) like to escalate disagreements into something that requires security/police showing up.

    • bluline says:

      It’s not true that the TSA has zero authority after you pass the checkpoint. They can search you anytime and any place afterwards. In fact, they sometimes conduct additional “random” screening at the gates as passengers are boarding, just to muck things up. Refuse the search, and you won’t fly.

      I’m not agreeing that it’s right, but they do have the authority.

      • TheDudeOC says:

        They actually can’t do that – check out the mandate and by-lines for TSA – they cannot approach you or screen you once you’ve passed the TSA checkpoints.

        • katstermonster says:

          Then how do you explain the fact that it happens? I am truly not trying to be confrontational, but if this rule exists, why was a flight I was on recently subject to a second screening? A TSA agent stood next to the gate and randomly asked people in line for ID as we were getting on the plane. It was implied, if not directly stated, that if we did not produce ID, we could not fly.

          • Kitamura says:

            Probably the same way we keep hearing about all these things that are in violation of their own rules. No one on their end actually seems to know the rules so there’s pretty much no chance they’d follow them.

        • Velvet Jones says:

          I’m understand what you’re saying, and based on what I’ve know the TSA is suppose to stay in their little area per their contracts with the Airports. But every airport I’ve been at there are signs everywhere that says you may be stopped and search at any time in the sterile area and I’ve seen the TSA stand at the gate and frisk people as they’ve board. This has been going on for years. People who have not cooperated have been escorted out of the airport by the police.

  20. IphtashuFitz says:

    So let me get this straight…

    The TSA partially “screens” this “potential terrorist” and clears her through to their gate. Some time later the TSA determines that this “screening” wasn’t sufficient, tracks down the “potential terrorist” and completes the “screening” process?

    If the TSA determined that this person wasn’t properly screened then isn’t the proper procedure to shut down the terminal, recall all taxiing aircraft, force everybody out of the terminal, perform a full security sweep of the terminal, and then re-screen every single person all over again? After all, if this little girl was actually packing weapons, explosives, etc. then the she or any other family member would have had plenty of time to hide them somewhere in the terminal or hand them off to a co-conspirator…

    So the TSA screwed up multiple times here. Not only did they let this “potential terrorist” through without a full screening, but when the TSA realized they screwed up they didn’t implement enough security theater to prove to the flying public that they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      I hesitate to say this… but it smells like retaliation for Dad pulling out his video-capable phone and beginning to record when the woman screener started getting aggressive.

  21. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    But but but bigovernment good, right? Bigovernment take care everything, right? RIGHT??

    • RvLeshrac says:

      “Big government” appears to be the only set of words you people know.

      Funny how the TSA exists PURELY because of the same people that decry “big government.”

      • mrstu says:

        GOP position: Big government is great, just as long as it’s not helping people. Shooting people, spying on people, or trampling all over people’s rights in general is fine though.

  22. RoxAbout says:

    They should be lucky the tsa = totally stupid a##hats didn’t wheel her off to a secluded area and blow her up, testing for hidden bombs. The only safe people flying are the whack jobs. The rest of us just get harassed!

  23. dush says:

    So basically the TSA admitted they didn’t do the screening properly and that’s why the family missed their flight.

  24. CalicoGal says:

    Between this story, and the 4-year-old-girl one, my theory on TSA “people” is closer to being confirmed.
    I think that these “people” are miserable and ENJOY making other people miserable. THEY WANT TO GET INTO DRAMA with whomever for whatever reason because it makes them feel powerful.
    No better than thugs whom you accidentally bump into and they turn around and threaten you.

  25. daynight says:

    The TSA claims “TSA officers strive to screen passengers respectfully”
    How ludicrous! No one who follows the news believes this. There are far too many incidents that prove otherwise. There is no excuse for the TSA to itself promote terror in people simply trying to make use of public transportation here in the USA.

  26. Coffee says:

    Okay, okay…I admit it…you won, terrorists…good on you.

  27. KyBash says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if there shouldn’t be an array of cameras and microphones at all TSA checkpoints.

    The TSA droids would know anything they do wrong could be on YouTube within ten minutes, and any claims about rudeness/abuse could be authenticated or reliably refuted immediately.

    Other than CIA or military covert ops and police undercover work, absolutely everything the government does should be open to public scrutiny at all times.

  28. amuro98 says:

    TSA employees are federal employees, right?

    Isn’t there a federal law about not treating people with disabilities differently from others?

    So, when’s the nice hefty lawsuit going to arrive?

  29. HogwartsProfessor says:

    The TSA are becoming the terrorists.


    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i know i’m scared of them. i don’t want them touching my medical devices so i refuse to fly.

  30. Shorebreak says:

    I’m beginning to think that there is a requirement that one be a psychopathic thug in order to get a job with the TSA. You can only push people so far.

  31. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Again, this is the government we trust to run our country, protect our civil liberties, provide for the common good and be an example of a free society to the rest of the world?

    It’s douchebags like the TSA that make our government look inept and not worthy of the trust we’re supposed to have in them to do the right thing. They make the government look illegitimate.

  32. merc78 says:

    The TSA should themselves be screened and then shown to the unemployment line.

  33. Not Given says:

    We need no screening at all now. Not even the stuff they used to do in the 80s and 90s. Everyone knows if you try to pull anything the passengers will wrestle you down and sit on you, even if you’re the pilot. The screening is probably more dangerous now than the terrorists are.

  34. Lyn Torden says:

    TSA spokesperson failure, yet again. The spokesperson FAILED to explain why the TSOs were rude and why one of them yelled at the father for no justified reason.

    TSA needs to fire the spokesperson as well as all the rude officers and replace them. With all the decent people out there looking for work, this should not be hard to do.

  35. jbandsma says:

    Just think of the damage just 3 REAL terrorists could do at a busy airport without ever going near the security areas. One bomber to the left, one to the right and one to the middle. Set them all off and you get enough people for who knows how many planes, not to mention all the airline personnel, shop attendants, sightseers, maintenance crew, etc. Hell the pikers only got 4 planes on 9/11. How many people could they get just in the public areas of JFK, Logan, Hartsfield, O’Hare, etc?

  36. NumberSix says:

    Still hate the TSA.

  37. dcarrington01 says:

    So always gotta be skeptical of someone/entity that starts our with the following:
    “To be honest…”
    “we take all claims seriously…”
    “I’m here to help…”
    “I am a christian..”
    An honest person doesn’t have to tell you they are honest!

  38. ned4spd8874 says:

    TSA = WCIA?

    • ned4spd8874 says:

      Oh yeah, I should mention that I just came back from Puerto Rico the other day and brought back a large bottle of hot sauce for my brother. I put in my carry-on without thinking about it. I got through no problem. I was only when I boarded the plane did I realize what I did. Not that it mattered apparently. I feel so much safer!

  39. Fisher1949 says:

    It’s been a busy week for TSA. They molested three children, this one, a ten year old with a diabetes pump and a seven year old with cerebral palsy. They also sexually assaulted a Congressman and four TSA screeners were arrested for smuggling drugs through LAX today.

    Let’s hear it from the TSA apologists who continue to say that this crime and abuse by TSA is somehow improving airline security.

    It is long past time to replace this agency and arrest everyone who works there.

  40. Emily says:

    I say this as a native New Yorker… the personnel at JFK are a special kind of awful (see also Newark). When they don’t welcome you to the city with a blow to the head, you feel lucky.

  41. jaybee says:

    My experience: TSA staff fall into 3 general categories: pleasantly harmless, but dimwitted, self-important and dimwitted, vindictive and dimwitted.
    There are so many obvious flaws in the process compared with airport security in other countries and they’ve had 10 years to recognise them or to listen to people who travel frequently and make suggestions on how to improve things.
    They do nothing.
    I’m always just so pleased to get the departure process at US airports behind me with the least irritation.

  42. iesika says:

    The TSA wanted to take apart the prosthetic leg of someone I used to know. He ended up not flying that day, because if they damaged it or put it back together wrong (not hard, since it was a complicated piece of equipment) he’d have been unable to get around until he returned from the trip.