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UPDATE: Mother of St. Jude patient hurt by TSA agents talks to Channel 3

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Photo sent to WRCB by Shirley Cohen, the victim's mother. Photo sent to WRCB by Shirley Cohen, the victim's mother.

UPDATE: A Chattanooga family filed suit this week against the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) because of a nightmare experience at the Memphis airport.

Their daughter is permanently disabled by a brain tumor and her family says TSA agents assaulted her while going through security last summer.

Nineteen-year-old Hannah Cohen has used the Memphis airport hundreds of times. She's been traveling to St. Jude hospital since she was 2 years old. But after what happened during her last trip to the airport, her family never wants to fly again.

"Blood coming down her face; there was blood in her hair," says Hannah's mother Shirley. "They were both on top of her with their knees in her back."

Shirley Cohen says she is still horrified when seeing the photo of her daughter Hannah attempting to go through security at Memphis International Airport. 

The mom and daughter were headed home to Chattanooga after a visit to St. Jude hospital when Hannah's sequined top set off the metal detector at a security checkpoint. 

Her mother tried to explain to TSA agents the teen is disabled from a brain tumor that left her partially blind, deaf and easily confused.

"They disregarded what I was telling them and called for backup," says Cohen.

Cohen says when agents grabbed Hannah by both arms, she got scared. 

"The next thing I know, one of them had her on the ground, slammed her down to the floor, and busted her head," says Cohen. 

Officers charged the teen with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and assault.

After being treated at a nearby hospital, she was taken straight to jail.

"Here I was, stranded with nowhere to go; our bags had already gone to Chattanooga," Cohen says. "I didn't even have a toothbrush." 

Hannah's charges have since been dropped, but the emotional trauma from this situation remains. 

Her mom hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"If they would do something like that to someone who is disabled, what would they do to an elderly person who doesn't understand, who is confused," Cohen says. "There needs to be some way of dealing with someone who is disabled."

The Cohen's are suing the Memphis airport, airport police, and the TSA for $100,000. However, the agencies have not made comments, citing the pending suit.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


MEMPHIS  (AP/WRCB) - A lawsuit alleges that a disabled patient from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was injured by security workers at Memphis International Airport.
         
News media outlets report that an alarm went off when 19-year-old Hannah Cohen was going through a security checkpoint on June 30, 2015. The reports say Cohen and her mother were flying home to Chattanooga after receiving treatment at St. Jude. The lawsuit says Cohen "was unable to cooperate with a search" because a brain tumor removal and radiation treatment had limited her ability to talk, walk, stand, see and hear.
         
Cohen's mother, Shirley Cohen, says her daughter was put on the ground and hit her head.
         
The news outlets report that the Memphis airport, airport police, and the Transportation Security Administration would not comment, citing the lawsuit.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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