DALLAS, TX – A pregnant woman attending mass earlier in March was allegedly threatened with arrest, while also being trespassed, from her local church over her reportedly not wearing a face covering during the church service.
According to the woman’s account of the incident, it was the church’s parish-priest that called police on her for not wearing a face covering during services.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas is responding to Dallas mother Deirde Hariston's allegation that she was escorted out of Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, while holding her baby — for not wearing a mask. https://t.co/WyQgE1ODxq
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) March 29, 2021
The incident reportedly occurred in mid-March at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas, where Deirdre Hairston – who is pregnant and was holding her one-year-old child at the time – was approached by officers telling her she had to leave the church shortly after she’d received Communion.
Hairston recently discussed the incident on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s podcast and shared how she was escorted out by police while still having the eucharist on her tongue.
She was apparently informed by responding officers that the church didn’t want her there.
The interaction between Hairston and responding officers was captured on video, which was showcased on Dr. Marshall’s podcast.
A female officer speaking with Hairston can be heard saying that she’ll “place her in handcuffs,” if she doesn’t leave the premises.
Hairston can be heard asking if she was being placed under arrest, to which the female officer responded with:
“No, not right now. But if you don’t listen you will be.”
When challenging the officers on why she was being forced to leave the church or face arrest, Hairston was informed that she was “trespassing on a business,” which could result in her being placed under arrest if she chose not to comply with the order to leave the premises.
Hairston did oblige the order to leave the church. As she was doing so, an usher from the church reportedly ran outside to the parking lot to snap a photo of her vehicle’s license plate. Thereafter, Hairston was issued a trespass warning from police.
According to Hairston, her parish-priest, Father Ryan, was the person who called police over her being maskless inside of the church.
On March 29th, Holy Trinity Catholic Church replied to the mid-March incident, two days after Hairston was featured on Dr. Marshall’s podcast that was uploaded to YouTube (and has since amassed over 200K views).
Within the church’s response, it was noted that the pastor has required masks be worn while attending services:
“The pastor of the parish has required masks at mass out of concern for the health and welfare of his entire congregation.
Canon law grants pastors jurisdiction over their parishes, and while the bishop has not mandated masks for every parish, he has left these specific details to the pastors of the Diocese, adding that he expects the faithful to wear masks out of charity and concern for others.”
The statement from the church also pointed out that the Diocese is still “looking into the details regarding this incident,” and recognizes “that this pandemic has been stressful for everyone.”
Hairston alleges that there was no such mandate imposed by the church regarding wearing masks, noting that wearing masks was only encouraged to attendees.
While this incident has resulted in mixed responses, it’s unclear whether there can actually be any legal recourse that behooves Hairston in this situation since even churches do have the ability to trespass individuals.
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This Dallas incident is quite similar to an incident that occurred around the same time in Nevada, where a family was kicked off a plane bound for their return flight to Arkansas due to their four-year-old autistic child not wearing a face covering while aboard the plane.
Here’s that previous report.
LITTLE ROCK, AR– A young boy with Autism was kicked off of a Spirit Airlines flight after he was unable to wear a mask due to his disability, and had a doctor’s note to vouch for that.
On Monday, March 15th, four-year-old Carter Kimball was left devastated when both him and his father were removed from their return flight home because Carter was unable to wear a mask.
The note explaining Carter’s reason for not wearing a mask however was accepted on the flight to their destination, creating a double standard by the company.
KTHV-TV spoke with Carter’s mother, Callie Kimball, who told the outlet that her husband and son, were allegedly kicked off their return flight after visiting family in Las Vegas.
Autistic boy, 4, kicked off Spirit flight for not wearing a mask despite having a note from his doctor https://t.co/TDxvoLh0OU
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 16, 2021
According to Callie, their family has flown multiple times with their son, who is severely autistic and is non-verbal, as Carter has a love for airplanes.
The Blaze reported that Carter’s physician supplied them with a letter to carry while traveling that explains Carter is exempt from mask mandates because of his disability. According to Callie, when Carter wears a mask “he starts freaking out,” “holds his breath,” and “will harm himself.”
Callie explained that the family has often flown on Spirit Airlines, and has never experienced any issues until this past Monday. According to reports, after the family boarded the aircraft, an employee on the airline allegedly said:
“autism’s not a disability”
The employee also allegedly notified the family that:
“he has to wear a mask or he has to get off the plane.”
As if a father and his autistic son being kicked off of the plane was not bad enough, the family utilizes a babysitter for Carter to assist them during travel, and the sitter was not allowed off of the aircraft with the boy.
Carters father was left with little options while being stranded in Dallas, and was forced to spend $1,000 out of pocket in order to board an American Airlines flight to get home.
The Kimball family attempted to regain the money they spent on their Spirit Airlines flight home, but have still not received an answer to their refund request from the company.
Little Carter Kimball had flown with his father to their destination on the same airline with no problemshttps://t.co/8hLzjSUdKI
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) March 16, 2021
Callie Kimball told KTHV:
“So we’re out all of our flights, a thousand bucks and we have a son who’s just distraught now that he like threw all of his airplanes down,”
Unfortunately the discrimination of disabled children is not an isolated incident for Spirit Airlines.
The Blaze reported that last September, a Chicago family said the airline sent them a letter banning three-year-old Cebastian Lewis after he kept removing his mask on a return flight home.
According to the Lewis family, during a layover, a Spirit Airlines employee made the entire plane de-board, and allegedly filed a police report against the family.
According to WFLD-TV, Spirit argued that the family was using profanity and being uncooperative.
The outlet reported that the airline justified their actions in the Lewis family incident, stating:
“Spirit released a statement, saying they require face covering during the entire flight. The only exceptions are children under 2. Travelers unable to wear them for any reason, including medical, won’t be able to fly Spirit.”
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