Entries in Prosthetic Leg (4)


TSA Made Wounded Marine Remove Prosthetic Legs, Congressman Claims

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- A Marine who lost both legs to a bomb was "humiliated" at a TSA security checkpoint in an Arizona airport when the agents insisted he stand up and was also told to remove his prosthetic legs, a California congressman claims in a letter to the TSA.

A TSA spokesman, however, told ABC News that the agency has reviewed the surveillance video of the incident and insisted the Marine was never asked to remove his prosthetics.

The alleged encounter occurred on March 13 when several Marines who were recovering from wounds were passing through Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport security en route to San Diego, Calif. One of the Marines was in a wheelchair because he had lost both legs in a bomb explosion and had "limited to no mobility," according to the letter from Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

After entering the security checkpoint, "a TSA officer asked the Marine to stand and walk to an alternate area.... With numerous TSA officers sitting and unwilling to assist, an officer then made him remove his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a secondary screening location where he was asked again to stand, with extraordinary difficulty, while his wheelchair was examined for explosives," Hunter's letter said.

"The Marine, whose prosthetics were exposed, was 'humiliated,' according to accounts," the congressman wrote.

Hunter's office said the letter is based on eyewitness accounts, but not from the Marine himself, who has not yet been identified. Joe Kasper, a spokesperson for Hunter, told ABC News that the Marine is still on active duty and isn't going to talk because his command won't allow it.

Hunter's letter said he had "visual reference" from the scene, but his office did not make them public.

TSA spokesman David Castelveter said the tapes of the incident have been reviewed and at no point did the Marine ever remove his prosthetic legs. He also said the eight minute long video showed nothing out of the ordinary and said the screeners who performed the screening are military veterans, including one who was a Marine.

"The screening was done cooperatively," he said.

The TSA said there was no official complaint filed. Kasper said the congressman's office advised the Marines to make the incident known through Hunter's office instead of with the TSA, claiming it would be more effective in changing the way wounded veterans are treated at security checkpoints.

"It's not the first time, nor will it be the last time vets and war wounded have a similar experience," Kasper told ABC News. "The bigger question is how do we use this and other situations to improve the process for screening people — wounded service members specifically — who don't notify TSA ahead of time. Congress cannot legislate common sense and decency, a lot of what's lacking in the screening process, but we can try to make the procedures a lot less burdensome for our vets and wounded service members."

On the TSA website there are several pages dedicated to the treatment of people with disabilities.

"A passenger can be screened without standing, walking, or being required to transfer out of a wheelchair or scooter; however, a passenger should inform a security officer of his or her ability before the screening begins," it reads.

As screening relates to prosthetics, according to the site, "Passengers with prostheses can be screened without removing them. The way screening will be conducted depends on the passenger's level of ability and whether or not he or she voluntarily chooses to remove his or her prosthetic during screening."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Zahra Baker Case: Stepmother Reportedly Cuts a Deal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Handout(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Zahra Baker's stepmother has reportedly made a deal with prosecutors that would allow her to avoid a first degree murder charge -- and a potential sentence of death or life in prison -- to help with the investigation of the girl's death. Sources told ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., that Elisa Baker signed an agreement with prosecutors that would take first degree murder charges off the table in the death of the 10-year-old disabled girl whose dismembered body was found in November after a month-long search.

Neither Elisa Baker's attorneys nor prosecutors would confirm the deal, but warrants in the case released this week detail the cooperation she has provided police in the case. According to the documents, Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker told North Carolina police through her lawyer that after the girl's death, Zahra was dismembered, her body parts placed in trash bags and then rolled into a comforter and car cover. Baker also directed police where to look for the body parts.

The stepmother directed police to a dumpster where she and husband Adam Baker, the little girl's father, dumped Zahra's mattress, the warrant said. A car cover and comforter used to "conceal and transport the body parts" were also stashed in the dumpster. Investigators eventually found Zahra's prosthetic leg wrapped in a white trash bag and tossed in a separate dumpster. A piece of bone and additional body parts were found at two additional locations.

Zahra had lost her leg along with most of her hearing while battling with bone cancer.

Elisa Baker is currently in jail on one charge of felony obstruction of justice after allegedly admitting she penned a $1 million ransom note which was discovered Oct. 9, the day Zahra went missing from her Hickory, N.C., home.

Adam Baker was held in prison on unrelated charges, but is free on bond.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Zahra Baker Case: Cops Confirm Artificial Leg Belonged to Missing Girl

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (HICKORY, NC) -- The stepmother of the missing girl Zahra Baker appeared in court Monday as police confirmed that a prosthetic leg found last week belonged to the disabled 10-year-old, who disappeared at the end of summer.

Elisa Baker was driven to court in Burke County, NC, Monday in handcuffs and an orange jail jumpsuit for a probable cause hearing on a larceny charge that is unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.

Baker, 42, has been charged with several crimes unrelated to the investigation into Zahra's case. In addition, the stepmother is charged with obstruction of justice for writing a false ransom note before Zahra was reported missing.

Her appearance in court gave observers a rare view of the woman who kept publicly silent since Zahra vanished. Despite her public silence, police have said she appears to be cooperating with the investigation.

The 10-year-old girl was reported missing October 9th, but authorities have said they do not believe she is alive. The most recent sighting of the girl was at a furniture store on September 25th.

The only evidence of the girl uncovered so far is a prosthetic leg found close to where Elisa Baker used to live. Monday police said the leg was confirmed to have been Zahra's leg. The Hickory, NC, police said a scanner was used to extract the serial number from a transponder placed inside the prosthesis.

Earlier, police had obtained the identifying number for Zahra's leg from Australia where the leg was originally fitted. The two numbers matched.

Zahra lost her left leg along with most of her hearing in a battle with bone cancer.

Since the girl vanished, her father Adam Baker, 33, has also been arrested. He was charged with passing bad checks and assault with a deadly weapon, charges unrelated to her disappearance. Adam Baker has since been released on bond.

The search for Zahra has also turned up a mattress police pulled from a dump and are testing it for DNA matter.

Since the girl disappeared, relatives and neighbors have recalled how Zahra was frequently bruised and accused Elisa Baker of frequently yelling at the girl for walking too slow, locking her in a room all day except for meals, and blaming her bruises on the girl's own clumsiness.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Zahra Baker Case: Prosthetic Leg Discovered, Thought to Be Missing Girl's

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(HICKORY, N.C.) -- Investigators have discovered a prosthetic leg that matches the description of the one worn by missing disabled girl Zahra Baker, police announced Wednesday.

The leg was discovered in a "brushy area," but was not buried, off a road in Caldwell County, N.C. late Tuesday afternoon, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said in a news conference.

"The prosthetic leg is consistent with what Zahra's would be like," the chief said.

He said police were determined to find out what happened to the 10-year-old girl.

"We will continue to follow every lead and every tip we receive in hopes that we can come to some kind of conclusion to this investigation and bring peace to Zahra," Adkins told reporters.

Zahra, who was reported missing by her parents on Oct. 9, lost her left leg and hearing in a childhood battle with cancer. Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, was taken into custody on unrelated charges soon after police began searching for the little girl. A $1 million ransom note was discovered on the Bakers' property on Oct. 9, a note Elisa Baker later admitted to writing. She has since been charged with felony obstruction of justice.

The announcement concerning the leg came just hours after police said that Elisa Baker had begun providing them information in the search for Zahra.

Hickory police announced earlier Wednesday they had seized a mattress discovered in a Caldwell County landfill that they believe was used by Zahra. The mattress had DNA evidence investigators plan to test, police said in a statement.

Zahra's father, Adam Baker, was taken into custody on Monday on several charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance.

After 17 days of widespread searching based on several leads, police have not publicly revealed any major clues about the girl's location until Wednesday.

Police are working to ensure it's the one used by the girl whom they believe is dead.

Police returned to the Bakers' home today, but Adkins would only say "information" led them back to the home where the mysterious case began.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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