The police have charged a passenger after he intentionally touched three flight attendants inappropriately on a weekend flight of Frontier Airlines from Philadelphia to Miami on July 31.
After the incident, Maxwell Berry, a 22-year-old male from Norwalk, Ohio, was arrested at Miami International Airport. According to the authorities, the man assaulted three flight attendants, hitting one and touching the breasts of two others, causing one crew member to tape him to his seat until the plane landed.
Other passengers recorded part of the argument and jeered as the man was confined for the duration of Flight 2289, which took off from Philadelphia at 10:41 p.m. on Saturday and landed two hours and 37 minutes later. The video was then viral on social media.
According to the police report, the passenger named Maxwell Wilkinson Berry, 22 ordered a drink from a flight attendant, finished it, asked for another third.
Berry was warned not to touch her by the flight attendant, according to the report. He afterward went to the bathroom after spilling a drink on his clothes. The guy was shirtless as he left. Berry was ordered to put on a shirt by the flight attendant, who then assisted him in retrieving a fresh shirt from his carry-on luggage.
According to the report, Berry wandered about for a while after changing his clothes, then “began to get friendly with a second flight attendant” and touched her breasts. He was warned not to touch her and to sit down, but he afterward moved up behind the two flight attendants, wrapped his arms around them, and touched their breasts once more.
The passenger was then urged to keep an eye on by a male flight attendant. Berry was advised to sit down and stay in his seat by the flight attendant. Berry then punched the person in the face with a closed fist, according to the complaint. As other passengers and the flight crew attempted to control the passenger, a fight broke out. According to the report, the flight attendant and passengers taped Berry to his seat and used a seat belt extender for the rest of the journey.
Berry was seen shouting at people on the plane with his mask under his chin and raving about his parents’ and grandfather’s net worth in a minute-long video first aired by Miami TV news station WPLG.
He abused the cabin crew with bad words. Passengers in the vicinity laughed and recorded his outburst. Berry is also seen swinging at a flight attendant and a member of the crew placing duct tape around his body and head in the footage, which was recorded from behind.
The passenger was detained and taken into the Miami-Dade County Jail, where he faces three counts of assault. Berry was released after posting a $1,500 bond. The passenger’s problems may not end with violence charges since the FAA considers fines of up to $35,000 and possible jail terms for those who strike flight staff.
According to the airline, the flight attendants suffered their own consequences. “The flight attendants will be relieved of their duties as appropriate in such circumstances awaiting the outcome of an investigation,” Frontier Airlines said in an early statement on the day. The decision drew severe criticism from the Association of Flight Attendants, the nation’s largest flight attendants union.
Frontier Airlines received anger on social media after the flight attendants were suspended pending an inquiry. The association both condemned and applauded the decision. The airline said the flight attendants’ “paid leave status is in line with an event of this sort awaiting an inquiry” in a revised statement issued by airlines.