TSA refutes claim that Marine was humiliated at airport - Fox 2 News Headlines

TSA refutes claim that Marine was humiliated at airport

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PHOENIX -

It's a developing story sparking outrage across the U.S. A California congressman is questioning the way a marine who lost both his legs in an IED explosion was screened at Sky Harbor Airport.

The congressman claims the marine was forced to remove both his prosthetic legs, and says the screening was a humiliating process.

But the TSA is disputing those claims, sharing video of the marine's airport screening. The TSA showed us the video and we can confirm that marine never had his prosthetic legs removed. Although, we couldn't hear what was said.

Now even though they let us watch the video, they refused to let us record it to show it to our viewers. But they wouldn't tell us why.

TSA's Assistant Director of Screening showed us the video of that wounded marine with prosthetic legs as he goes through security. The marine was here in Phoenix to be honored at a spring training game.

"So he's currently giving the marine the advisements on what he's going to do, he's offering private screening," said Jeffrey Perez, TSA. "Here he is approaching the screening area where he's going to get patted down."

Eight minutes -- that's how long his entire screening process lasted.

These pictures were taken by one of the marine's friends. It was 8 minutes from the time he got to the full body scanner to the time he was wheeled over and patted down and cleared to go. The TSA agent who patted him down is a former marine, a 13-year vet.

"I would say probably flawless, they handled it how they should," said Perez. "He did every step properly and he didn't skip a beat, he was very thorough."

His wheelchair and prosthetic legs were swabbed for explosives. According to TSA, that's standard procedure for everyone in a wheelchair.

"Everybody that comes through this airport needs to be screened. It doesn't matter who you are, you're going through the screening process."

TSA also say they have a Wounded Warrior Program where service members can call beforehand and are met at the airport -- escorted through an expedited screening checkpoint. But this particular marine didn't do so.

Representative Duncan Hunter is the California lawmaker who wrote that angry letter to the TSA. He accused them of humiliating the marine.

Now he says after talking to the TSA, he's convinced the agency is committed to making sure service members and vets are treated with respect.

Follow this story: Lawmaker says disabled Marine was humiliated at Sky Harbor

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