June 28th, 2012
12:04 AM ET

TSA screener spilled grandfather's ashes, then laughed about it, Indiana man says

An Indiana man is demanding a direct apology from a Transportation Security Administration agent in Florida who, the man says, spilled his grandfather's ashes during an airport bag check - and then laughed off the incident.

And John Gross is also demanding that the TSA release any security surveillance tapes of the incident - tapes that the federal agency claims simply don't exist.

Gross, 30, was returning home from visiting family in Orlando, Florida, on June 19, carrying with him a portion of his grandfather's ashes that had been passed along by an uncle - a "real sentimental kind of guy," says Gross - when he approached TSA screeners. A female agent wearing blue latex gloves inspected the contents of his bag, says Gross, including the jar clearly labeled "Human Remains."

"I said, 'Please be careful, these are my grandpa's ashes,'" Gross told CNN Wednesday. But, he said, the agent proceeded to stick her finger in the jar then accidentally spilled its contents on the airport floor.

She then laughed, according to Gross - not an uproarious cackle, but a chuckle that he found offensive nonetheless.

"She thought it was funny," he said. "I wanted to smack her."

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. bflo NY mike

    Put another nail in the coffin AMERICA.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HIDE BEHIND

    Hell there are so many nails in that old coffin they built a new one for lack or room to drive amothet.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat)©

    You knew it was coming. bciah's HS&G of the day.

    There was a gentleman in the hospital bed next to me. He was covered with bandages from head to toe. I said to him, "What do you do for a living?"

    He said, "I'm a former window washer."

    I asked, "When did you give it up?"

    He replied, "Halfway down."

    June 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Head shaking grooooooooan @Rawr...

    June 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    lmao @ bobcat, and ive been waiting for it all day too! 🙂 and lmao @ HIDE BEHIND, if i was certain my ashes wouldnt end up on a TSAs shoes i would go for cremation, since im not ill go for that old coffin too!

    June 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Yep.
    We are the only ones who can smell the roses; try desccribing it to someone who has never smelled one...we all need to stop and smell one once in a while.
    That's MY reward, lol...

    June 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Piers Morgan, Supervillain

    That's really funny, but if I can be the devil's advocate for a minute, the businessman totally missed the point. We don't work so we can retire and chill on the beach. We work for money so we can support our families. The guy on the beach doesn't have a happy wife at home. If he's married, she's going to kick his butt. If he's not married, and doesn't have any children, and doesn't want any, then yeah... chill on that beautiful beach until Armageddon, brother. And have a nice fruity drink for the rest of us.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. marti Reed

    my son, traveled to portland,or. on june 5th of this year to see his son graduate and to see his dad who is in a alzheimers care facility. in newark airport, he went thru security and agents confiscated his prescribed pain medication and his daily vitamins saying they were contraband. my son called me and I immediately went on line to find out how to file a complaint . I then called tsa and was informed that tsa agents are not supposed to take medications of any kind. I was asked a few questions and was told that someone would contact me or my son regarding this matter. I was contacted on two occassions, the last one being on june 19th,2012, the e-mail said tsa would not pursue the matterbecause the complaint was incomplete.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. CaringFool

    The TSA is the laughing stock of the world. No one could make up the horrors inflicted on passengers in this country.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. suz625

    About a year ago at JFK my friend made a (non-threatening) silly comment about his bottle of soda (not about the TSA or her) that he gave up to the TSA (with no argument). Apparently this agent was annoyed, and shouted to her coworker, "He disrespected me", and sent us over to him for what we thought would be more interrogation. This guy probably was used to her abusing her authority, as he looked embarrassed, apologizing to us. We were especially nice, and nothing happened. USE CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH THESE AGENTS, AS SOME OF THEM ABUSE THEIR AUTHORITY!!!!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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