We have the local connection to a national story. Some claim a local Marine was humiliated by the TSA.
Marine Corporal Toran "Chance" Gaal who grew up in Oakhurst was with a group of wounded warriors in Phoenix. They were there to watch spring training for baseball, but on the way home at the airport he claims he was humiliated when a TSA agent had him remove both of his prosthetic legs. CBS47's Claudia Rodarte has reaction from the Marine's grandfather.
Marine Corporal Toran "Chance" Gaal's grandfather says he doesn't know why the TSA would make his grandson go through such a difficult experience.
"He's really been through an awful, awful lot. For them to put him through that was not right," said Chance's grandfather, Jim Gaal.
Chance was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan back in 2011. He lost both legs and fractured his skull. His grandfather is disturbed by Chance's claim that TSA agents made him remove his prosthetic legs during pre-flight screening at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport.
"Without his artificial legs, he's pretty much limited to crawling around on the floor," said Jim Gaal.
A volunteer escorting the group of Marines was outraged when he says one of the agents made Chance get out of his wheelchair and walk. That part of the incident was caught on tape.
"He cannot stand up by himself and I tried to explain that and they don't want to hear it. And then I said I'm sorry that has to happen to you and he just goes you know what get me the eff outta here," said Marine escort, Jim Phillips.
Cameras were rolling during the pat down, but Chance was out of camera range when agents allegedly make him take off his prosthetic legs.
The story made national headlines after Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter fired off an angry letter to the TSA. The TSA is denying its agents ever forced Chance to remove his prosthetics.
They released this statement:
"TSA works to facilitate the screening of injured and wounded service members with dignity and respect."
Chance's grandfather talks about the emotional impact of the alleged incident.
"I just know him and it probably really bothered him when it happened but once it was over, he he put it out of his mind and he's not going to let it hurt him. He's been hurt enough," said Jim Gaal.
Chance is currently recovering at a rehab facility in San Diego. Depending on his progress he could be released within the next year.
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