(The Hill) – Prosecutors said a Delta Airlines passenger who refused to wear a mask during a flight exposed himself to other passengers and threw a can at an individual, The New York Times reported. In a case unsealed on Friday, Shane McInerney of Galway, Ireland was arrested and charged with intentionally assaulting and intimidating a crew member during a flight earlier this month.
According to the court document, authorities said McInerney refused to wear his mask despite being asked a “dozen” times during the eight-hour flight from Dublin to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. McInerney began to throw an empty beverage can which hit another passenger in the head and kicked the seatback in front of him, which disturbed the passenger in front of him, according to The Times.
As he walked away from his first-class airline seat to complain to the flight attendant about the foodservice, McInerney then “pulled down his pants and underwear and exposed his buttocks” to flight attendants and passengers sitting nearby, according to the court document. The document also said within two hours of the flight McInerney took off the flight captain’s hat twice while he was on break, also putting up a closed fist toward the captain’s face saying, “Don’t touch me.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been more reports of unruly and sometimes violent behavior by airline passengers, with many of the reported disturbances involving those who refuse to wear masks. McInerney, 29, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He made his initial appearance in court on December 14 and was released on a $20,000 bond, the Times noted.