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."

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. raven


    June 28, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    I can just picture the TSA lady scuffing her shoe into the carpet...

    June 28, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. bflo NY mike

    This probably wasnt intentional, but really laughing about it is just sick. dont expect an apology from the tsa anytimesoon

    June 28, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. BipolarTSA

    YES... they recruit bipolars: so then why not elect Hermain Cain: what could it hurt? A true face of the real
    America: Hermain "daddy" Cain and Alan Keyes drivin Ms. Daisy Palin. Colin could be the traffic cop and Condelezza
    could be restored to "public relations czar".... Keep hope alive !!! Time to turn the turntables on the radio DJS. 🙂

    June 28, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • LMAO

      You're either bipolar, or drunk. My money's on drunk, cuz you ain't making no sense here DJLoser.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. TSA Public Relations

    The terrorists are coming. Remember? So get ready instead of crying over spilled dirt. ty

    June 28, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
    • LMAO

      Lthose who live in paranoid fear are....whackos." – LMAO

      June 28, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |

    As long as the american public has no respect for their individual self, and demands it from those who supposedly serve us, then don't whine like a sick puppy when they treat you like dirt.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mr Dalloway

    "We the people" are responsible for what is happening to us nowadays. The loss of self respect and not standing up for each other has resulted in our government treating us the way.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    @ HIDE BEHIND, was that an attempt on your part at humor? Seriously though, even though i feel bad for this guy, what made him think they wouldnt check the ashes? He propably wouldve been better off shipping them UPS or USPS!

    June 28, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      agree...beside who wants to inhale his dead grandfather germie ashes...

      June 28, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Swej

    This is what passes for news?

    June 28, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. NYRon

    One word for Mitt Romney: RomneyCare.

    June 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©

    The TSA, besides just their training on the best way to aggravate the crap out of people, also need to issued a dose of compassion. They treat the people like they're a huge inconveniance.
    Here is a clue for you TSA personnel. If you don't like dealing with people, you have chosen the wrong career move.

    Now, that being said,

    Three weeks after Myra's late husband's cremation, Doris went to visit her sister Myra. While they were having a cup of tea by the coal fire; Doris asked her sister, "Why do you keep on turning that hourglass?"

    Myra retorted, "Bill's ashes are inside the hourglass. I keep on turning it because the lazy oaf wouldn't work while he was alive, so I'm making him work now!!

    June 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dazzle ©

    The TSA are a bunch of power-tripping idiots. Leave it to one of those people to do something as horrible as this. Nor do I believe them about not having surveillance tapes of everything.
    @bobcat (in a hat)©-your joke is right on topic and gave me a good morning laugh. Thanks!!

    June 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©


    I don't believe that they don't have surveillance tapes, either.
    Of COURSE they do.
    As for the jar clearly marked, 'human remains', that makes not one jot of difference; it still has to be checked.
    The TSA agent acted a bit silly, probably to cover up her embarassment over spilling the poor guy's ashes; she, and the TSA, should apologize, anyway.
    That's not really too much to ask.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |

    No not an attempt at humor, but what I do find humorous is that some people think the articals import are the spilled ashes.
    The originator of this article has put a depth of thought into this short item that one rarely sees in our entertainment. and social engineering journalist of today, and far braver in its criticism than just the fact nothing but the facts.
    People see what they want and no more, to look beyond the obvious, now that requires humor, for if one did mot have it life would be bleak and of no more worth than animals , of the moment only.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    lol @ HIDE BEHIND, agreed! Humor is truly the best medicine as i say quite often. And i dont know about you, but i do not intend to spend the rest of my days *bleak.* Imo there is far too much of that going on already.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
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