Local News

Girl's pat-down at RDU upsets father

Posted January 6, 2016 5:57 p.m. EST

— A California man is upset after his 10-year-old daughter received a pat-down from a Transportation Security Administration agent at Raleigh-Durham International Airport last week.

Kevin Payne posted a photo of his daughter, Vendela, being frisked on Dec. 30 to his Facebook page, and the video he took of the pat-down made its way to the Internet and has gained some attention nationally.

Payne says he felt like the TSA went overboard, noting they checked his daughter for two minutes after she left a juice container in her carry-on bag. A swab of the container falsely tested positive for explosives.

He said the pat-down was invasive and made his daughter and him very uncomfortable, as it seemed extreme for a child. He said there might be a training issue that TSA administrators need to examine.

TSA officials said in a statement that the RDU agents "followed approved procedures" in that the girl's father was present and the pat-down was conducted by a female agent.

"The remainder of the time was spent mitigating the concerns of the father and discussing screening procedures," the agency said.

The agency's website states that the TSA makes every effort to avoid pat-downs of children under 12, that they try other options first and that, when they do a pat-down on a child, it is modified.

The Paynes were flying to San Diego from RDU, and they were delayed for an hour by the extra security, which also involved removing their checked bags from the plane and searching them.

The TSA noted that the Paynes didn't miss their flight.