Elderly and deaf woman ends up jailed with broken arm after Austin airport agent calls police on her

Elderly and deaf woman ends up jailed with broken arm after Austin airport agent calls police on her
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A deaf Florida woman may hit the city of Austin, Texas with a lawsuit after she was arrested and jailed during her three-hour layover at Austin-Berg­strom International Airport in September of 2022, The Austin Chronicle reports.

When Karen McGee, 71, discovered there was another plane at her gate headed to the same destination, according to The Austin Chronicle, she asked a ticket agent "if she could switch her ticket to this flight."

Although she had difficulty understanding the agent "because her hearing aids weren't working well," she "understood the answer was no" and proceeded to ask another agent, who phoned the police.

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After McGee was "placed in a wheelchair" and arrested, she was taken to Travis County Jail.

The Austin Chronicle reports:

At the jail, McGee said, she was shoved against a wall as officers stripped off her clothes, and she screamed, 'Not my ring!' when officers began to remove it. She said an officer then told her something she did not understand, she asked, 'What?' and in response a different officer twisted her handcuffs with enough force to break her arm.

Rebecca Webber, McGee's lawyer, said the airport agent who "read McGee a trespass warning" prior to her arrest, didn't "get down on her level at all, which is the only way to get her to hear you."

She continued, "If they had any training about how hearing aids work they would know that in a loud area she won't be able to distinguish just one voice. The person needs to get down on her level, speak slowly, and then she'll be able to put it all together."

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McGee "awoke in a jail cell with her clothes back on, but inside out," with an aching arm — on which she had surgery — and was only given Aleve for the pain, before she was able to reach her husband and spend the night in a hotel.

According to The Austin Chronicle, Travis County Attorney Delia Garza decided not to prosecute.

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The Austin Chronicle's fun report is available at this link.

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