Airborne Groping Of Flight Attendant Lands Man Behind Bars
A passenger who was flying from London to New York is facing a federal criminal charge after he allegedly placed his hand up the skirt of a flight attendant and “grabbed her genital area” and “began to run his fingers back and forth,” according to an FBI agent.
The incident, which occurred Thursday on a British Airways flight bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport, resulted in the arrest of Iurii Chumak, 53.
In a misdemeanor criminal complaint excerpted here, FBI Agent Thais Canin reported that the flight attendant has just provided coffee to Chumak when she turned away from him to serve other passengers across the aisle in row 42. As she “bent over slighty” to pour coffee, Chumak allegedly groped her.
A second flight attendant, Canin added, saw Chumak “grab the first flight attendant’s genital area” and immediately approached the passenger and placed him in restraints. The second attendant told the FBI that a male passenger had previously complained that Chumak--drinking from a bottle of Dewar’s--had “bothered and verbally abused” his wife.
When questioned by federal agents after the plane arrived in New York, Chumak said he “was drinking on the airplane, fell asleep, and woke up in restraints.” Chumak appeared Saturday in U.S. District Court for arraignment, and was ordered held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.