Passenger Arrested For Groping, Kissing, Putting Headlock On Flight Attendants

Image courtesy of (Martin Rottler)

A Delta Air Lines passenger on board a flight from Atlanta to Denver apparently didn’t get the memo that the days of people looking the other way while you sexually harass a flight attendant are far in the past. Furthermore, if you double-up on your creepy actions by messing with two (2) attendants — and you put one of them in a headlock while trying to kiss her — you’re going to be arrested when that plane lands.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the airline as United. In fact, the incident occurred on a Delta Air Lines flight. We apologize for the error.)

According to an FBI affidavit [PDF], on the Oct. 27 flight, two flight attendants say they were attacked by the same passenger, a 42-year-old Ukrainian man seated in first class.

The first attendant, who says she served two drinks to the passenger, told the FBI that the man confronted her in the forward galley and “stood behind her, making full body contact with her.”

He then, according to the affidavit, “put his lips on her neck and later touched her back and then moved his hand to her buttocks.”

He later sat down in the seat next to her, and allegedly “put his hand on her thigh, and then started to move his hand up and under her dress,” in spite of the attendant’s repeated directions to stop touching her. She estimates that the passenger touched her body somewhere between seven to ten times.

“She described his touch as ‘squeeze and hold’ and stated he used his strength to intimidate her,” reds the affidavit. “As a result of his behavior, she could not fulfill all of her duties because she felt afraid of him and threatened and intimidated by him.”

A second flight attendant came to the first class cabin after it became clear that her co-worker needed help dealing with the passenger’s lewd and unsolicited actions.

That’s when the passenger allegedly told this second attendant that “he liked her and made a hand gesture like he wanted to have sex with her. This gesture involved him pointing to her, pointing to himself, and slamming his closed fist sideways into his open hand as if to ‘slam her.'”

The attendant says the passenger touched her on her lower back and then dropped his hand to her buttocks.

And if that weren’t enough, both the second attendant and a witness told the FBI that the passenger later placed this attendant in a headlock while pulling him toward her and trying to kiss her.

“She described his touching as predatory and stated she thought he would have raped her,” reads the affidavit.

The passenger was detained when the plane landed at Denver International and subsequently charged with Interference with Flight Crew Members, a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.


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