TSA agent opens and spills jar of human ashes, laughs
posted at 3:31 pm on June 28, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
The Transportation and Security Administration has cultivated something of a reputation in recent years for treating passengers—especially the very young, the very old, and the infirm—inhospitably. Among their more memorable acts of moronic incivility was their confiscation of a 6-inch plastic hammer from a severely mentally challenged man, claiming that the toy cum security blanket could be used as a weapon. And who can forget the young woman who was patted down so aggressively that her blouse was pulled off, exposing her breasts? Or the callous stripping away of a soiled adult diaper from a 95-year-old wheelchair-bound cancer patient?
Now the agency has extended its abusive policies beyond the living. Indianapolis ABC affiliate RTV reports:
A man’s attempt to bring the ashes of his grandfather home to Indianapolis ended with an angry scene in a Florida airport, with the ashes spilled on the terminal floor.
John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather—Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana—in a tightly sealed jar marked ‘Human Remains.’
Gross told reporters he didn’t think he’d have a problem, which causes one to ask what planet he’s been living on. Did he really believe that the TSA’s stringent prohibition against its agents’ opening containers marked in this manner would prevent the screener at Orlando International Airport from doing just that? Did he somehow expect once the jar was unsealed that the screener would not desecrate the remains by digging her fingers into and through them? That once she had accidentally tipped the jar on its side, strewing ashes all of over the terminal floor, that he would receive an apology? Or an offer of help as he tried frantically to retrieve the jar’s precious cargo?
Surely, Gross had a right to expect that the woman would at least treat the situation with appropriate sobriety. She did not. “She started laughing,” Gross told the television station. “I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman in Miami, tells the Orlando Sentinel that the agency is investigating the incident. “Circumstances as described in some reports are inconsistent with what we believe transpired,” Koshetz wrote in an email to the paper.
We’ll see. But judging from the TSA’s past boorishness and their stubborn refusal to apologize for their agents’ indiscretions, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
- TSA defends removing diaper of 95-year-old woman; time for TSA to go
- JFK Airport evacuated after TSA agent’s metal detector found to be unplugged
- TSA agents maul child with leg braces, greenlight drug runners for cash
- Newark Airport closes after TSA agent dozes
- TSA agent arrested for hurling hot coffee at pilot
- 200 thefts per day reported at JFK Airport
- Engineer exposes ‘blind spot’ in TSA scanners; smuggles metal through security
- Woman with dagger in bag slips past TSA at JFK Airport
- TSA orders dying, 95-year-old woman to remove diaper during 45-minute search
- TSA takes toy away from mentally challenged man
- TSA settles with woman whose breasts were exposed by agent
- Federal court gets it wrong, upholds constitutionality of TSA “nude scans”
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