Woman Allegedly Kept Confined By TSA Agents Over Breast Milk
It's just-released video that's raising a storm of controversy.
Stacey Armato, a 30-year-old mom, says she was humiliated and confined to a glass cage by airport TSA agents and left there for an hour—out of pure spite!
"I felt just totally helpless. I just felt their vendetta immediately," said Stacey.
She was at the Phoenix Airport on the way back to L.A. to get home to her baby Lorenzo after a business trip.
She says the incident occurred because she had breast milk in containers and she didn't want to put the milk through the X-ray machine. TSA rules consider breast milk to be a "liquid medication" that can be passed through security with just a visual inspection.
It turns out that a week earlier, on another business trip to Phoenix, Stacey had filed a complaint against TSA agents because she says they insisted on X-raying her breast milk.
When Stacey went through security the next time, she tried to show a printout of the rules to the TSA agents.
"My hand was swatted away and they put me in this glass cage forever it seemed," said Stacey.
That "glass cage" is an isolation area. The speeded up surveillance video shows how time passed as she stood alone while other passengers passed through security. A half hour goes by, then an hour, and they still didn't let her out.
"The manager and the other TSA agents are just feet away, their arms folded and staring at me in the glass cage. I was humiliated," said Stacey.
Finally, she burst into tears. That's when she says a policeman shown on the video entered the glass booth and told her the TSA agents were out to make an example of her.
"He came in and said, 'They remember you from last week and they want you to play along with their horse and pony show,' " said Stacey.
Finally, she was released from isolation after a full hour had passed and given a thorough pat-down.
When she tried to explain her position to a TSA manager that can be seen on the video, she says he wasn't moved at all.
"I said, 'Breast milk is to be treated as medical liquid.' He looked me square in the eye and said, 'Well, not today,' " said Stacey.
Stacey missed her flight home. The incident happened in February, but Stacey, who is a lawyer, just obtained a copy of the surveillance tape and made it available to INSIDE EDITION.
She's now nine months pregnant with her second child.
"It was frightening that they had that much power," said Stacey.
The TSA sent INSIDE EDITION a statement saying they have apologized to Stacey, adding they hope they "can learn and take corrective action from this unfortunate incident." However, Stacey says she never received an apology.