Airline passenger accused of attacking flight attendant in frustration over meal service

Robert David Croizat pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault on flight from Barbados to Miami

Abe Asher
Friday 12 May 2023 00:45 BST
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A British passenger travelling on an American Airlines flight from Barbados to South Florida was arrested and charged with misdemeanour assault after allegedly becoming enraged over the standard of the flight crew’s service.

Robert David Croizat’s issues with the flight attendants on the plane began midway through the journey to Florida when he approached one of the flight attendants and said they “should have addressed him in a better way when giving him the choices for his meal,” reported The Daily Beast.

The hullabaloo on the flight in March drew the attention of a second flight attendant, who reported in a criminal complaint that Mr Croizat then demanded to speak to the captain about his issues with the service.

But Mr Croizat’s own issues would mount when he allegedly touched a third flight attendant and then pushed them twice.

The criminal complaint says that law enforcement has a video filmed by another passenger that shows Mr Croizat “making contact” with the flight attendant twice on the shoulder.

Mr Croizat’s “belligerent and non-compliant” behaviour then continued with him allegedly pinning the second flight attendant against a door after they told him to return to his seat.

During the initial confrontation with the flight attendants, Mr Croizat said he’d had two drinks on the flight. When the plane landed in Miami, with Mr Croizat still reportedly complaining about his treatment, he was escorted off the plane by law enforcement.

Mr Croizat, who was en route to visit his son for five days, pleaded guilty to the assault charge on Wednesday.

A more serious felony charge of interference with a flight crew was dropped. Mr Croizat’s lawyer, Barry Wax, told The Daily Beastthat the government’s account of his client’s actions was exaggerated.

Nevertheless, the incident is indicative of a larger issue: the number of unruly passengers on planes in the US exploded in 2021, the year following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and has stayed elevated above its pre-Covid levels since. There have already been more than 600 reports of unruly passengers so far this year.

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