Shane McInerney, 29, has been charged after a series of disruptive behaviors aboard a flight traveling from Dublin to John F. Kennedy International Airport in early January, according to the New York Times.
McInerney hails from Galway, Ireland, and was flying with Delta to the New York airport, the NYT reported.
McInerney reportedly refused to wear his mask on the flight, while engaging in an array of other disruptive behaviors. Initially, he wandered from the economy section into first-class in order to complain about the food. As he was being escorted back, he pulled down his pants and exposed his butt to the flight attendant and nearby passengers.
A passenger from Galway, Ireland, refused to wear a mask on a flight from Dublin to New York, pulled down his pants and exposed his buttocks, threw a can at a passenger and put his cap on the captain’s head, prosecutors said. https://t.co/AgEjsYwDRI
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 23, 2022
Two hours into the flight, the captain took a break and spoke to McInerney. During the conversation, McInerney took off his cap and put it on the captain’s head, twice. He also put his fist close to the captain’s face and said, “Don’t touch me,” the NYT reported.
The flight crew considered diverting the plane to another airport in order to remove McInerney. They continued to their final destination in New York. As they began their final descent, McInerney refused to sit down and buckle-up for landing.
McInerney has been charged with intentional assault and intimidating a crew member. Should prosecutors successfully convict him, McInerney faces up to 20 years in prison. He made an initial appearance in a Brooklyn federal court on Jan. 14, after which he was released on a $20,000 bail bond, the NYT reported.
Steve Dickson, the Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration commented, “over the past year we had seen a dramatic uptick in unruly passenger incidents, and we’ve undertaken a number of measures to get that under control,” the NYT reported.
At least two airline CEOs have challenged masks mandates on planes. Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines and Doug Parker of American Airlines asked that Congress end mask mandates as they create so much additional work for airline employees while offering little protection from disease.
A wealth of violent and disruptive behaviors have dominated domestic and international flights since the start of the pandemic. (RELATED: Footage Shows Flight Attendant Getting Violently Beaten Up By Passenger).
Last week, an American Airlines flight from Miami to London was forced to turn around mid-flight because a passenger refused to abide by mask rules. Passengers were told that there had been an “extreme incident” after de-boarding back in Miami, according to the NYT.