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Woman, airport security tussle over elderly woman's apple sauce

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/21/burbak_says_send_the_noise_to_van_n.jpgCall this the case of the applesauce assault.

A court this week will look at an incident at Bob Hope Airport in which a woman is accused of hitting a federal security agent who allegedly tried to wrest away her 93-year-old mother's snacks before a flight.

Prosecutors charged Nadine Kay Hays, 58, who was traveling to Nashville, Tenn., with her mother, with misdemeanor battery after the reported fight with the Transportation Security Administration agent last April.

Hays denied striking the agent, arguing that she merely brought down her hand to keep agents from taking away her mother’s applesauce, cheese and milk.

“I am not going to plead guilty to something I didn’t do. I’m a person of character,”  Hays, whose mother died last month, told the Glendale News Press. “I end up reliving this disaster every spare moment of my life. You just flash back and you see these scenes over and over.”

The case has been ridiculed by talk-radio hosts, who railed against the agents involved and challenged how confiscating a disabled woman’s applesauce would improve national security.

Denny Wei, a prosecutor in the Burbank city attorney’s office, declined to comment on the case, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

TSA spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino also declined comment, citing a policy of not discussing pending litigation.

Read the full story here.

-- Christopher Cadelago

Photo: Bob Hope Airport. Times file

Comments () | Archives (54)

Yea, the prosecution doesn't want to comment on the case because they don't want to look like idiot's!

When prosecutors "decline to comment" on any given case, it means they know they are going to lose. When the case is "iffy" then all sorts of incriminating innuendos are leaked to the media in order to build the case up and potentially influence juries. I have covered many criminal cases over the last 30 years, and know of what I speak.
A far as the applesauce is concerned, "It was da bomb, dude!"

These TSA rules are stupid. My own parents stopped traveling in their early 80's because of an incident at a Chicago airport when a TSA agent wanted to strip seach my 82 year-old American born white mother. Do you think my Mom looked like a terroist? By hasseling innocent people they will miss the real thing.

Our tax payer dollars at work.

And these are the people who are guarding our National Security? How ridiculous!

One day, our prosecutors will act like adults in representing the public against the gestapo tactics used by the TSA.

Wow. The TSA security guard is pretty tough. I guess this is what happens when government gets too big. But, they (TSA) do alot better than the FAA, who did next to nothing to make airline flights safe pre 911, if you know what I mean.

Oh well, guess I'll just keep driving instead of flying. Besides, when I fly I feel like I'm someone's pet. Get over here, do this, don't do that. Kind of like a dog.

The Security is CRAZY! They have actually scanned my 2 year old daughter at the airport. Please tell me where a child would keep a gun!

In the aftermath of 9/11, we allowed the government to take extraordinary measures to insure our safety against the continued threat of terrorist attacks. The Bush-Cheney administration took gross advantage of that permissiveness on our part, at times with wild adandon.

It's time to dial it back.

Exactly. The D.A dumby knows in her cold heart that this case shouldn't even go to court. What are they going to do, send her to prison for making sure her dieing mother had her snacks? What a discrace

If you have gone through our airports post 9/11 you would notice that these TSA agents are very mechanical. They don't have common sense. I have had the misadventure if having my 6 year old son frisked because he "beeped" the metal detector. It turned out his over all buttons were triggering the incident. But these lack of intelligence TSA agents instead of using kid gloves on a child frisked him like an Al-Qaeda suspect.
TSA agents have no brains! They will antagonize an 85 year old lady because of her liquid food, but guaranteed they will let a sexy blond or power dressing executive go through without a hitch.

Talk about overkill! Sounds like the Sheriffs up here in Santa Clarita.

It is absolutely ridiculous that airport security has escalated to the extent it has today. Applesauce, cheese and crackers? Seriously.....None of those can be considered a weapon. I'd be more worried about plastics and compounds that can be molded to appear to be something other than an explosive. We have allowed this to get WAY out of control. Last I knew, terrorists attempt to conceal their weapons of choice. Not display them in the form of food. I also can't believe the prosecutor would proceed with this case after the ladies mother passed away. The United States has grown into a paranoid police state.

What a freakin' waste of tax dollars! Prosecuting cases like this is an outrageous waste of precious resources. A disagreement over a 93-year old's applesauce might warrant a ticket, but certainly not arrest, court time, paperwork and other activities that go into prosecuting someone. This is yet another case of the TSA failing in their duties to go after TERRORISTS.

Mmmmmnnn...that was some GOOD applesauce.

The gubment implements policies and procedures, and issues directives. The lowly TSA agent at the gate now has to enforce those policies, go through those procedures, and carry out those directives. When that happens, you get situations like this. An administrator or supervisor on site could have probably prevented all this by just allowing the elderly woman to pass, as I'm sure she did not pose a security threat. But no. They don't do that. Instead, they insist that the agent do the job he's been told to do, common sense be damned. The agent, valuing his job, proceeds to do as he's told, and this happens. Such a stupid, stupid situation, and just gives the tea baggers, and other anti-government zealots more reason to rail, rant, and rave.

The "security" rules are designed NOT for security, but to get the American public used to being treated as criminals. We all have to take off our shoes, not because anyone expects to find anything, but to get everyone used to being ordered about. In the history of commercial aviation in the US, there has been what, 2 cases of someone using shoes to do something? And we only know that because government officials told us so! Where are those guys now?

The same goes for not allowing foods onto the planes.

This applesauce case just illustrates why taking the train or the bus is the way to say no to our ridiculous system of air travel.

Unbelievable!!! the airports/airlines/security have gone too far!!!
how does feakin applesauce effect the security of flying???

"merely brought down her hand" is like a 10-year old saying "I didn't hit him, it was just a tap!"

When you go to the airport, you are not in charge. You do not tell the security what to do, or which laws or searches you're ok with, if you want to get on the plane.

I guess that people don't realize terrorists use women and children all the time because of how effective it is. Lets say that an elderly woman was used.... then you'd be blaming the agents for not catching it too, right?

i go to thru LAX security every week for my job. The rules really are ridiculous. All these new rules that are created are always very reactive. Mr. Reid carries a shoe-bomb so now everybody has to take their shoes off. some other terrorist carries a liquid concoction so now nobody can carry liquids (remember the mom who's breast milk couldn't pass? - at least now it's limited to 3.3 oz). what's next.

it's unfortunately that we pay a 9/11 security fee and it goes towards what? preventing a 93 yo lady from bringing her applesauce.

Time to do a serious review of TSA, its policies and personnel. Far too much emphasis on nonsense and not enough substantive security.

Federal security agent should know how to treat a 93-year old lady: you are not supposed to wrest away her applesauce. You really need more communication skill.

Let us get one thing straight for the record TSA has a website that states what you can and cannot bring on a flight food and drinks is one of them unless they were purchased in the airport this is nothing new.
2nd if you put your hands on a person it is deemed an assault.
Your personal upbringing means nothing to a TSA agent they have a job to do and she did her job point blank take the charge and go home you put your hands on her so she reacted as instructed by her job.

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