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Woman in applesauce dispute with TSA still fighting

October 24, 2012 |  9:51 am

Photos: A Southwest airplane takes off over the tower at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
A woman who tussled with Bob Hope Airport security officers over a container of applesauce for her elderly mother seems poised to draw the ire of another federal official — this time a U.S. District Court judge.

Transportation Security Administration agents arrested Nadine Hays in 2009 after she refused to give up an ice chest containing the snack. Criminal charges stemming from that incident were dropped in October 2010 after Hays reported six months of good behavior.

In April 2011, she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. In its amendments and iterations, the suit has named dozens of defendants.

Despite an admonishment from U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Walsh that her "kitchen sink" approach was inappropriate, her latest amended complaint includes more than 60 defendants, even listing the United States itself, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the head of that agency, Janet Napolitano, the Burbank Leader reported.

Walsh has granted Hays numerous extensions in the matter, noting he was not inclined to give another one.

In her latest complaint, Hays alleges she was arrested in the 2009 incident based on a falsified citizen's arrest form and tampered evidence, including a surveillance tape that she claims was altered.

They are the same allegations she made in an earlier complaint, which was dismissed in May.

Attorneys representing the TSA urged Walsh to dismiss the case "because [Hays] has failed to follow multiple orders issued by the court even after being expressly warned that noncompliance could lead to dismissal," according to court records.

In the 2009 incident, Hays was charged with misdemeanor battery after she allegedly made a fist and struck a TSA agent's hand as she tried to take the ice chest from her during a security check at Terminal B.

Hays has said the ice chest contained her 93-year-old mother's applesauce, cheese and milk, which were needed because of her mother's medical condition.

Hays has denied striking the agent.


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-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Photos: A Southwest Airlines jet takes off over the tower at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times