The Transportation Security Administration announced today it has banned the sandals commonly worn by South Florida abuelas following an incident at Miami International Airport where a grandmother viciously assaulted a teenager aboard a Delta flight bound for New Jersey.Prior to leaving the gate, 83-year-old Carlota Asencio hurled the deadly chancleta at Dexter Lambert, 17, after the teenager repeatedly refused to lower the volume on his headphones.
The teenager was being “tremendo malcriado,” Asencio told Miami-Dade police, according to the arrest report.
Witness Jacob Lang, 35, of North Miami Beach, said the exasperated Asencio heaved the sandal from at least 15 rows away.
“It was utterly terrifying,” Lang said. “That chancleta was like a dirt-encrusted tomahawk from hell.”
After some short-lived applause, passengers began to panic and flee the plane as a screaming Lambert shot up from his seat and flailed about the cabin, his blood-drenched face cleaved down the middle by the chancleta.
The incident sparked an enormous reaction on Twitter, where the hashtags #chancletajustice and #killerabuela trended throughout the day. Amid the controversy, TSA officials quickly decided to ban chancletas out of an abundance of caution.
“The TSA takes the safety of its passengers seriously,” said TSA spokesman Mike England. “For the foreseeable future, chancletas may only be transported as checked baggage. They must also be placed in secure, hard-shelled cases.”
A statement released by a consortium of interest groups and businesses, including Valsan, ¡Ñooo! Qué Barato, Old Navy and the National Rifle Association, condemned the ban as an attack on grandmothers and the Second Amendment.
“Our precious abuelas have a constitutionally protected right to defend themselves and enforce the peace, even on airplanes,” said NRA President Wayne LaPierre in the statement. “In all documented chancleta-related incidents, the target was an obnoxious, ill-mannered individual who clearly deserved it.”
By Manuel Del Fango IV