DETROIT- The Department of Justice disclosed on Friday that the FBI is conducting an investigation into James Warren Finnister, 47, a Spirit Airlines (NK) passenger.
Finnister is accused of making inappropriate advances towards flight attendants, including inviting them to join the “mile high club” earlier this week.
FBI Investigates Spirit Airlines Passenger
Criminal charges have been filed against him, encompassing allegations of interfering with flight crew members, sexually harassing and assaulting flight attendants, and engaging in other disruptive behavior during his journey on Flight 693 from Louisville, Kentucky, to Orlando International Airport.
According to court records, the individual from Detroit initially approached the head flight attendant, inviting her to join the “mile-high club.” Subsequently, he pulled another crew member into his seat and posed the same question.
Additionally, the passenger is alleged to have stretched out on the floor of the aircraft after being relocated to a different seat and requesting access to the cockpit.
In a statement to FBI officials, Finnister admitted to consuming “multiple alcoholic shots to calm his nerves” before the flight, emphasizing that it was his inaugural flight, as outlined in the criminal complaint.
In the event of being found guilty of the charges, which breach federal criminal laws, Finnister could potentially be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The investigation into the case involves not only the FBI but also Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Marshals Service.
A Minneapolis woman, Alison Petri, is taking legal action against Delta Air Lines (DL) and an off-duty pilot, alleging that he groped and kissed her without consent during a flight.
Seated next to the pilot, Petri claims he began drinking during the flight and proceeded to touch and kiss her, persisting even after being repeatedly told to stop, as reported by KARE 11 News.
In her lawsuit, Petri asserts that she informed a flight attendant about the pilot’s inappropriate behavior mid-flight. However, the flight attendant allegedly provided the pilot with a fifth can of wine instead of intervening.
“You can’t leave on an airplane. So, if you’re being assaulted, you really are dependent on the crew doing the right thing. And they didn’t. And then they continued not to do the right thing,” Petri stated.
Upon disembarking, Petri promptly informed the gate agent and reported the incident to the airport police.
Initially facing charges of 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct and disorderly conduct, the woman had the former charge dropped by the prosecutor when the pilot agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct and admit to physical contact.
In Petri’s filed lawsuit, she alleges that Delta attempted to conceal the harassment she experienced from the pilot.
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