TSA Strikes Back in Applesauce Dispute

Nadine Kay Hays thought her Applesauce drama with the TSA was over when a judge agreed to drop a case against her. That was until she got a letter saying she still faced a $2500 fine.

Hays, 58, was traveling with her 93 year-old mother when she went through security at Bob Hope Airport. During a search, TSA asked Hays to relinquish a cooler which they say contained oversized liquid items. TSA claims Hays made a fist and stuck a supervisor on the hand when they tried to inspect the cooler.

According to the Burbank Leader:

Hays denied hitting the agent, maintaining that she brought down her hand to keep agents from taking away her mother's applesauce, cheese, milk and soda. In the May 12 civil penalty notice, TSA claims that during the screening Hays was advised that items in the cooler, including liquids, were oversized and not allowed. According to the notice, Hays reached into the cooler while an agent held it and grabbed a can of soda, a prohibited item.

Hays then drank the soda against the instructions of TSA personnel. She was later arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery.

According to the Leader, Hays called the series of events as recounted by TSA "a total lie."

Los Angeles Judge Fred Rotenberg agreed last month to dismiss the case if Hays stayed out of trouble for six months and she assumed that was the end of the matter.


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Then a letter arrived saying she was subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000.

"When I received the letter I just flipped out. I take it very personally given everything else that happened," Hays told the Leader.

A spokesperson told the Leader that while Hays' criminal case was dismissed, it could still be perused civilly.

Hays said she is refusing to pay the $2,500 penalty as a matter of principal.

Hays told the Leader, "Unfortunately, sometimes people in positions of authority are unethical, unprofessional or just downright criminal in their activity. And in that case, if you're in the right, you need to stand up for yourself. And that's what I did in my case — what they did was wrong, and what I did was right."

TSA says Hays can contest the fine.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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