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. moss says:

    What a thoroughly corrupt and reactionary society we live in.

    Hindered as we are by a political culture limiting decisions for change to TweedleDee and crusading Stone Age ideologues on one hand – and TweedleDum with the backbone of an octopus on the other – I don’t see much chance for a freedom renaissance.

    Oh well, at least we may be able to get our sticky fingers out of the Middle East in another decade or so.

  2. Ben Drinkin says:

    If they thought the cup contained something dangerous, then why would they let her leave with the cup, empty it who knows where, and come back with an empty cup? That sippy cup and its contents should have been confiscated if they were a potential threat to others. And what’s with all of the apologizing stuff? That’s admitting fault. You know what’s a danger to other passengers? A disgruntled baby who doesn’t have their sippy cup.

  3. Improbus says:

    TSA=Keystone Gestapo [shakes head]

  4. Mister Justin says:


    It seems like the TSA were actually turfing it out with the toddler. My guess is they liked the sippy cup and thought it would be perfect for the staff room.And if they couldn’t have it, they were damn sure going to throw a tantrum and not let anyone have the cup! ‘Bout time someone stood up to those toddlers!

  5. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    Isn’t the prohibition against profiling working out well?

  6. steelcobra says:

    Here’s what needs to be done, in my not-so-humble opinion:
    1: return airport security to pre-9/11 levels.
    2: Create a special bypass line for military and law enforcement. This line will have minimal screening and will allow these trained, skilled individuals who protect the people in their daily lives to carry their knives/firearms on their persons, where they will be able to deal with hijackers and others should something happen. (though, the ammunition must be subsonic hollow points to prevent them from punching through the walls or over penetrating their target.

  7. MacBandit says:

    As for the article what can someone say it’s utterly ridiculous.

    The thing that pissed me off is the end where the writer mentions in comparison an event where he apparently got busted (rightly so) littering a cigaret butt. What kind of Butt Head (pun intended) thinks littering is somehow akin to spilling water? People who litter especially cigaret butts “something that doesn’t biodegrade very well” should be treated like the trash they are throwing on the ground!

  8. Greymoon says:

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Oh, and hey lady, quit being a drama queen.

  9. tallwookie says:

    #3 – lol

  10. Bigby says:

    Occurrences like this one is one of the reasons I’ve refused to fly to the US the last 4-5 years. At a security checkpoint you have no rights, you apparently don’t even deserve to be treated with basic human decency.

    The worst part is that this crap is spreading from US to Europe. I’m beginning to hate flying altogether.

  11. Arrius says:

    Modern cops work under the following premise: Those with the most to lose are the easiest to control and manipulate.

    Case in point. A lady with a crying child, needing to get somewhere, having spent time and money on tickets and travel, just wants to end the situation and will yeild to whatever is brought against her in an effort to quickly resolve it.

    Another case in point. A cop stops you for some traffic violation and he is unessasarily harsh and rude to you. You being late for work just want to quickly end the situation you appologize, thank the offer profusely and attempt to end the situation with the officer being ‘happy’ with you, or at least not mad at you.

    We accept this under the guise that a cop’s job is difficult and at every turn they expect to be assulted apon by the armed masses of the US. BULLSHIT! Cops act the way they do because we allow them to continue acting like this, not because their job is dangerous, which we can all admit it is dangerous on some level.

    Correctional Officers (prison guards) have dangerous jobs as well and if they were to treat inmates the way our own police often treat us they would be killed or riots would ensue.

  12. bobbyjoe says:

    TSA – The Sisyphus Affect

  13. smartalix says:

    I originally supported the formation of the TSA because in my mind’s eye I pictured people of the caliber and professionalism of the custom service. Why can’t the people putting you on a plane be as well-trained and supported as those who greet you when you get off of the plane?

  14. Mister Justin says:


    Cigarettes are legal. Ashtrays are nowhere to be found in city streets. Tell me where you live and I’ll make sure to drop them on your lot.

    My comparison was a tongue in cheek reference to the abuses of power, not that my problem was of the same magnitude. But, since you’re a Mac fan, you’ve already got thin skin, low self-esteem and high levels of shrillness, so you’re forgiven.

  15. Mr. Fusion says:

    While this is unfortunate, I can’t find any other reference to this story. For that simple fact I have to put this story in the questionable category.


    #8, First, if you want to read someone else’s version, why not do a quick search to find another version instead of whining about it.

    Second, the police are notorious for segregating their “perpetrators” out of the public eye. Seldom are these “interrogation” ever recorded. That there would be no eyewitnesses does not surprise me.

    Third, your comment about being taken into a back room and “tuned up a little bit” is the give-a-way you are a total dipshit.

  16. Charles Nicolosi says:

    The TSA can now do anything they want under the guise of ‘protecting’ us from the terrorists that hide amongst us.

  17. chuck says:

    If there was any justice in the world, there would be a follow-up story where the head of the TSA announces he has fired, with cause, the 3 TSA security guards and issued an order saying any future idiocy by other TSA personnel will result in immediate dismissal without notice or compensation.

    But there is no justice, so instead the follow-up story will be “President Bush awards medal of freedom to heroic TSA security guards who thwart “nursery water” bomb.”

  18. John Benson says:

    Does anyone really believe this woman’s story? It is written entirely from her point of view with no supporting documentation or quotes from neutral observers. It’s just a bunch of hog wash.

  19. Stu Mulne says:

    The TSA, airline “security”, gun-free zones, those silly “no firearms” signs, and schools are all feel-goods that result in free-fire zones for those who would choose to ignore them.

    Why we put up with this is simple. We are sheep, and trust our leaders….


  20. JohnMo says:

    There is such a thing as nursery water. It’s bottled water with extra fluoride — actually too much fluoride. The high mineral content actually discolors teeth. We’ve used it (diluted) since our local water is not always clean and reliable. Plain bottled water lacks some trace minerals and fluoridation that are important for babies — or so the marketing goes.

    Can’t fathom why a TSA agent would see it as any more of a threat than tap water. Someone was on a power trip.

  21. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    I realize I’m late to the party again, so I beg leave to tender my most abject apologies for mentioning at this lamentably belated juncture that I, for one, welcome our new incompetent, unaccountable, megalomaniacal, gun-toting, quasi-governmental overlords…

  22. Mister Justin says:


    Isn’t fluoride a poison? I give my toddler boiled filtered water, and I brush her teeth with a non-fluoride toothpaste. Am I now a whack-job?


    Yeah, I was pissed about being stopped by cops for throwing my ciggy too. thanks for your support.

  23. Michael Hawthorne says:

    They made a woman named Monica get on her knees? That sounds familiar.

  24. Rob says:

    Ah, life in Bush’s Amerikkka is wonderful, isn’t it?

  25. flyingelvis says:

    “…experience with a local police officer recently when I tossed my ciggy to the street…”

    Isn’t that littering? what a ‘tard.

  26. I travel a lot and I believe this story. I’ve seen plenty of abuse, especially of amateur travelers just trying to go someplace.

    What’s weirder though are the people who actually like all the attention, the frisking and all of it. They are also the ones who tell you that you cannot be too safe.

  27. smartalix says:


    As a frequent flyer who is often witness to equally ridiculous bullshit performed on myself and others regularly I believe this woman’s account completely. People with authority need to be properly trained in its use or they usually become thugs. 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.

  28. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    Just last year, I carried a 6 inch folding blade through airport security in my carry on bag. I used to use it at work and I took it off my belt at work and put it in my bag, which I didn’t plan to take with me on the plane. Later, I was given some stuff to take with me so I put in my bag and took the bag forgetting about the knife.

    The knife showed up on the X-ray, of course. An armed agent asked me to step aside and asked permission to inspect the bag, which I granted. He produced the knife, and asked why I had it, and I explained my story. Politely, he said that I could either mail it to myself or it would be confiscated. As it was a gift from a long time ago and has some value to me, I mailed it, went through the scanner again, and got on the plane.

    If I could carry a 6 inch knife through security and be treated with respect, then why the hell should there be a frakkas over a TODDLER’S SIPPY CUP!?!?!

  29. Mikey Benny says:

    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.

  30. hhopper says:

    The TSA guys should have been kicked in the ass and fired.


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