An elderly disabled Florida man is stuck in Des Moines because he says TSA agents forced him to miss his flight.
When you think “Terrorist”, Primo Meza is probably not the guy you’re picturing. Still, the elderly handicapped Florida man was detained by TSA agents so long he had to miss his flight home.
Meza uses an oxygen machine, and the batteries have to be charged for it to work. As Meza and his step daughter were getting ready to board their plane after visiting his sick sister here in Des Moines, they were stopped by Transportation Security Administration workers because Meza’s pacemaker set off one of their alarms.
In the time it took agents to determine Meza was not a security threat, his batteries depleted to the point where it was not safe for him to fly home. His daughter says she tried to plug in the machine during the screening process, but was told she couldn’t.
“When I tried to walk towards him they surrounded me and told me I couldn’t touch him and I said I need..I told them like five times I needed to plug him in so that he didn’t lose his battery life.” Tonya Gahagan said, and they adamantly said I could not.”
“They scanned me three times.” Meza recalls, “Twice, and then they took me into a private room and they scanned me again. Same way they did out there.”
A TSA spokeswoman says electrical outlets in screening areas can only be used for screening. She says Meza was told he could charge his batteries after the 20-minute screening, but by then it was too late because he was supposed to be on the plane by then.