22-Year-Old Who Was Taped To Plane Seat Following Alleged Assault And Groping Of Staff Is Arrested
A 22-year-old who was duct-taped to a plane seat after he allegedly assaulted and groped staff members has been arrested.
The incident took place on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami. The man, Maxwell Berry of Norwalk, Ohio, was reportedly intoxicated while on the late-night Saturday flight.
He was arrested at Miami International Airport the following day, August 1.
According to the arrest report, while on the flight Berry drunk two alcoholic drinks. Upon finishing them, it states that he brushed his cup against a flight attendant’s rear end. The flight attendant subsequently warned him, ‘Don’t touch me’.
Berry then ordered a third alcoholic drink, but according to the arrest report, spilled it on his shirt. It went on to detail how Berry went to the bathroom, but returned shirtless. A flight attendant told him he needed to be wearing clothes and aided him in getting an extra shirt out of his carry-on bag, the report states.
Berry is said to have then walked around the plane for roughly 15 minutes. He then allegedly groped a second flight attendant by touching their breasts. Similarly to the first incident, the flight attendant told Berry not to touch her.
It is reported by authorities that Berry proceeded to go over and put his arm around both the first and second attendants, and allegedly groped both of their chests.
The pair of flight attendants asked a third member of the team to keep an eye on Berry. The third attendant ‘asked him several times to calm down and remain seated’, however Berry then punched the attendant in the face, ‘with a closed fist’, reports state.
A fight then broke out, causing passengers to intervene. They used duct tape to secure Berry to his seat for the remainder of the flight and even ‘tied him with a seatbelt extender’, the report states.
In the clip, Berry can be heard shouting: ‘You guys f*cking suck! My parents are worth more than two million god d*mn dollars!’
Berry was subsequently arrested upon the plane’s landing in Miami, according to a spokesperson for Frontier Airlines. It was not clear, however, whether the 22-year-old had an attorney.
Spokesperson for the airline, Jennifer de la Cruz, said:
Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight.
We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved.
Standard procedure has been followed since the incident, with the flight attendants involved having been put on paid leave pending investigation. This resolution comes after the airline was criticised by the union representing the flight attendants for suspending the team for restraining Berry. The union also called the incident ‘one of the worst examples’ of unruly passengers this year.
According to the arrest report, Berry has been charged with three counts of battery. The charge is stated in the report as a misdemeanour. FBI agents also came to the scene, however they have said they will not pursue federal felony charges.
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