Man charged for Delta flight disturbance after mooning fellow passengers

Three individuals, cabin crew and pilot of JFK-bound plane were all cited in complaint

Gino Spocchia
Friday 21 January 2022 19:23
<p>A Delta Airlines flight </p>

A Delta Airlines flight

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A passenger onboard a Delta Airlines flight from Dublin to New York JFK has been charged with assaulting cabin crew following a Covid-related disturbance.

Shane McInerney, who was identified in an unsealed criminal complaint on Friday, was arrested after landing in New York last month and arraigned in Brooklyn federal court.

It comes after, as the criminal complaint alleges, Mr McInerney was embroiled in an onboard disturbance with fellow passengers and cabin crew after he refused to wear mask, “despite being asked dozens of times”.

As well as violating Delta Airlines rules on mask wearing onboard flights, a passenger had “an empty beverage can” thrown at them by Mr McInerney, who complained about his meal.

He allegedly followed-up by kicking the back of another passenger’s seat while the plane was flying above the Atlantic Ocean, and walked into first class section.

While a Delta Airlines employee attempted to escort Mr McInerney back to his seat, he allegedly “pulled down his pants and underwear and exposed his buttocks to Individual-3 and passengers sitting nearby.”

The pilot, who was identified as “Individual-4”, spoke with the misbehaved passenger and “during the conversation, the defendant twice took off his cap, placed the cap on Individual-4’s head, and removed it from Individual-4’s head”.

He then proceeded to put “his fists up close to Individual-4’s face and said: ‘Don’t touch me.’” That and other behaviours displayed by Mr McInerney were said to have made cabin crew consider turning the flight around.

As The Daily Beast reported, Mr McInerney has been formally charged with interference with flight crew members, and has been released on a $20,000 (£15,000) bond, If convicted however, he could face two decades in prison. 

On its website, Delta reminds passengers that US “federal law requires each person to wear a mask at all times while in the airport and when using public transit, during boarding and deplaning”.

Fines totalling $1m (£0.7m) were levied by the US Federal Aviation Authority last year amid a surge in misbehaviour onboard US flights, with about 70 per cent of incidents to do with Covid.

Delta Airlines and a lawyer for Mr McInerney have been contacted by The Independent.

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