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Feds say unruly Delta passenger refused to wear mask, ‘exposed his buttocks’ in plane ruckus

  • January 24, 2022

unruly passenger flying from Ireland to New York this month got into trouble after he was accused of creating multiple disturbances, going so far as to moon a flight attendant and throw an empty can at another passenger.

According to a federal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York on Jan. 8, Delta Air Lines passenger Shane McInerney, 29, of Galway, Ireland, refused to wear a mask during an eight-hour flight from Dublin to John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 7 despite being told “dozens of times” to do so.

McInerney went on to throw an empty beverage can at another passenger, kick the back of the passenger seat in front of him and put a fist up close to the flight captain’s face, according to the complaint.

At one point, McInerney walked from his economy-class seat to the Delta One-class section to complain about his food to a flight attendant, the complaint says. When he began to return to his seat, he “pulled down his pants and underwear and exposed his buttocks” to the flight attendant and nearby passengers, it said.

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The flight crew considered diverting the flight to remove McInerney, but the plane continued to New York.

When the flight was on its final approach to the runway, McInerney left his seat and refused to sit back down, the complaint said. Authorities took him into custody upon landing.

through at least March 18.

There have already had more than 150 reports of unruly passengers this year, 60% of which were related to masking rules, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The FAA can impose a fine of up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passengers, and each incident can result in multiple violations. The agency levied more than $1 million in fines against problem passengers last year. 

Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz

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