Families with toddlers beware! Seems former Secret Service law enforcement officer Monica Emmerson had a little run in over a sippy cup.

The incident started when Monica was stopped while going through airport security because there was water in her son’s sippy cup. The sippy cup was seized by TSA. Monica wanted the cup back because the sippy cup was the only way her son would drink — and it was a long flight between Washington, DC and Reno, Nevada where she was going for a family reunion.

“I demanded to speak to a TSA [Transportation Security Administration] supervisor who asked me if the water in the sippy cup was ‘nursery water or other bottled water.’ I explained that the sippy cup water was filtered tap water. The sippy cup was seized as my son was pointing and crying for his cup. I asked if I could drink the water to get the cup back, and was advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.

“At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer and threatened to be arrested for endangering other passengers with the spilled 3 to 4 ounces of water. I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees while my son sat in his stroller with no shoes on since they were also screened and I had no time to put them back on his feet. I asked to call back my fiancé, who I could still see from afar, waiting for us to clear security, to watch my son while I was being detained, and the officer threatened to arrest me if I moved.

And it gets better! I can’t imagine how insulted the TSA must have been knowing that a toddler was going to attempt to pass dangerous substances through the American airports without them doing something about it.

“I was ordered to apologize for the spilled water, and again threatened with arrest. I was threatened several times with arrest while detained, and while three other police officers were called to the scene of the mother with the 19 month old. A total of four police officers and three TSA officers reported to the scene where I was being held against my will. I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too. I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I ‘intentionally spilled the water!'”

This story has it all. Disputed sippy cups, “nursery water” (WTF?), disrespecting officers, crying toddlers with no shoes… I’d love to throw in an anecdote about my experience with a local police officer recently when I tossed my ciggy to the street, but it just can’t compare to this poor woman’s story… God Bless TSA!

  1. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #29 – alix

    “The TSA needs to raise its standards and pay and start hiring people like ex-cops and federal agents to raise their level of professionalism, training, and experience.”

    And cut into the windfall profits that keep the contractholders in Lamborghinis and NetJet shares? Under this regime??

    Yeah, that’ll happen. Riiiiight.

  2. tallwookie says:

    #31 – shave yer head, and get over it

  3. smartalix says:


    But that’s the whole problem with the TSA. McSecurity is what you pay for it.

  4. BdgBill says:

    I’m the last guy to defend the TSA and the whole idea of taking the sippy cup away is completely pointless but….

    Something tells me that this sentence “I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.” May actually mean that she unscrewed the cap an poured the water on the floor while sneering at the TSA goons.

    I was once told by these idiots that if I swore at them again “i would never get on another airplane”.

  5. BubbaRay says:

    True story:
    I have a friend who couldn’t pass the magnetometer because of artificial hips. He also wears a “wrap” around his torso due to a botched surgery which resulted in a one foot grotesque scar on his abdomen measured in square inches, not just length. He no longer has even a navel. When ordered into the strip search booth and asked to remove his shirt and wrap, the two guards turned pale and just about lost it all, said “get dressed”, rushed out and never hassled him again. I saw two pale faced grown men almost lose their lunch. Priceless. What a great day.

  6. rjh57 says:

    TSA has posted the surveillance video footage and incident report to http://www.tsa.gov . Check it out!

  7. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #35 – McSecurity is what you pay for it.

    You are so gonna hear from Ronald’s lawyer!

  8. flyingelvis says:

    So, I see a tsa dork threaten another tsa dork. I see another dude stoll by drinking from a rather LARGE cup with out anyone saying anything.

    Makes sense to me. That woman with the kid, running late for her flight seems like the real threat…..not. Does TSA stand for totally senseless agency?

  9. flyingelvis says:

    ok, now i see what really happened. The woman, obviously not a union employee, cleaned up a spill on the floor. The TSA goons have to look out for their goonion brothers and make the woman regret doing what is a good paying goonion job. Solidarity!!!

  10. lattemom says:

    The video shows the woman dumping a cup out on the floor – that was unnecessary. Rules are rules – no need to pitch a fit. People like this cause more trouble for travelers like me just trying to get through the line.

  11. joshua says:

    What that tape showed me was a woman with a kid, trying to get to her flight, being hassled by people to stupid to get a real job.

    If the TSA thought that tape was a myth buster, then someone there needs their empty head examined.

    Each passing day makes me lean more and more towards a Presidential candidate that will just clean house from top to bottom and rid us of every item and law, and policy of the Bush Presidency….. like the old Pharohs did when they wanted their predessor forgotten..

  12. noname says:

    This is great:
    “What a thoroughly corrupt and reactionary society we live in.”

    Terrorist must see this and just snicker, just create multiple like diversions and as multiple police officers get distracted from doing their real job, sneak by.

    We did the same thing with the Nazis, get them focused on some frivolous nonsense then sneak behind their backs. Kids do it all the time with uptight Adults, get them flustered de-focused with BS then sneak in.

    TSA keeps failing security Audits for the same reason. Uneducated cops get focused on the wrong things and let the criminals go.

    What a bunch of idiots.

  13. Jake Donner says:

    I think this is a case of a jerk Secret Service agent trying to place herself above the rest of the flying public; also she, as a federal officer, should know to follow lawful instructions from airport security even though she obviously had no respect for them as seen from her high position. By flashing her Secret Service badge she should have been arrested for attempting to do something forbidden by federal regulations under color of law.

  14. i. p. freely says:

    Glad to see my tax dollars being spent wisely. I feel so much safer flying now that everybody’s shoes are x-rayed and nobody can carry containers of water onto the plane ( unless the water is purchased from inside the area protected by the TSA checkpoint ). These new protocols must have saved hundreds or thousands of lives just this year alone!

  15. BubbaRay says:

    TSA has denied this whole mess:


  16. Smartalix says:

    The whole liquid-explosive thing is a sham, anyway.

  17. stan says:

    I’d like to hear the conversation between the woman and the seven security officers. How many threats of being arrested? How many “I’ve got the power and I’m going to use it.” As Pogo Possum said “We have met the enemy and they are us.” Or some of us anyway.

  18. Lin says:

    If you possibly noticed, the woman was a “FORMER” Secret Service Agent. That means she isn’t supposed to be USING her credentials because they are now void. Why didn’t the Secret Service Agency take them from her before she left her job? Are you sure she left her job because she wanted to raise a family?

    If you look at the video, you can see she delibrately poured the water on the floor and was trying to get back to the security checkpoint through the exit lane. HELLOOO!!!

    Not only Secret Service people think they are above the law, Pilots, flight attendants, other government agencies, people who think the world revolves around them, liars, etc. I heard it said that TSA “Strip Searches” people…..what a bunch of crap!!!!!

    Come on people, don’t be so gullible!

  19. Jeff Tracy says:

    First of all, this woman was lying about the story, it’s obvious that she spilled the water on the floor, then acted like a b**** when she was called on it. Not only should she be ashamed of herself for acting that way in front of her child, but she has a lot of nerve to come out to the national press and act like a victim. She created the situation.

    Secondly, have we all forgotten about airplanes flying into building a few years ago? If the TSA needs to shake down mothers flying with babies to keep me safe, then I’m all for it. I fly more than most people, about 15-20 times per year and I never have any problems with security. I know the rules, just like everyone else, and I follow them.

  20. joseph says:

    It appears that both the military and government are run by idiots who can’t make it in civilian life.

  21. I speak freely says:

    to the person who said the following:

    **I was in Newark airport last weekend, where TSA confiscated a 3.5 **oz. tub of pomade worth $15 — the legal limit is 3.4 oz. I didn’t argue, **because the asshole TSA agent was glaring at me as I started to **speak, saying, “What are you gonna do about it?” with his eyes. **Absolutely maddening. All I said was, “You’re going to confiscate a **$15 tub of hair gel over a tenth of an ounce?” It’s a good thing I **wasn’t traveling alone, or I’d have made a scene and probably would **have been detained myself. There is something really wrong with **this system.
    **Comment by Mikey Benny — 6/15/2007 @ 10:46 am

    While I must agree that some cases are an over reaction by a newbie agent, or someone having a bad day, this one is not one…. most hair gels are flammable, and therefore can be dangerous. Buy it at your end destination or have it mailed home if ya can’t get it at home and shut your cry baby pie hole and live with the current rules until the next guy in office changes them yet again… Note, with many changes in leadership we have had laws change, cocaine and marijuana where once legal, now they are not, at one time beer was not legal, now it is… Things change from time to time, and will change again… Until then, sit back and wait.

  22. ECA says:

    To the hair Gel,

    I would of asked what hair style he was looking into getting…
    Maybe an Afro…esp if he WAS BALD….

    The slick down look?

    A FLAT top??

    Tell him you have someone he might like, that does Mens hair, upper and LOWER…

  23. Water says:

    This woman was not as innocent as it seems. I saw the footage on YouTube and it clearly states that she did intentionally spill the water. And she was not forced to clean up the water because she walked away from the spot.


  24. Joan Maggoson says:

    The TSA is there to protect us and is our only thin line from being attacked by terroirists. Every day the brave men and womym of the TSA (wo)man the front lines of the home front to keep us safe. We should get on our own knees and pray for them and how they have kept us save since 9/11. This woman is evil and playing into the hands of terrorists. How are the TSA to know that she did not force feed her baby full of explosive and the sippy cup contains the chemiculs to set it off. This is what the TSA protects us from, and you can be sure that terrorists would explode babies since they think the baby will go to muslim heaven and have 72 virgins.



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