Drunken Man Punches Flight Attendant In Face on JetBlue Flight 424

by Aviation News Reporter on June 1, 2011

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It must have seemed like déjà vu for JetBlue flight attendants working the West Palm Beach to Boston route Tuesday.

A passenger on a Boston-bound JetBlue flight departing from Palm Beach International Airport was arrested after an intoxicated man who was asked to leave punched a flight attendant in the face, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

Victor Mochi, 38, of Wilmington, Mass., was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, battery and resisting arrest with violence.

According to the arrest report, deputies were called after a belligerent passenger on JetBlue Flight 424 refused to leave the plane. Deputies said that when they arrived, Mochi was shouting profanities at flight attendants and passengers.

The report said Mochi hit a male flight attendant who asked him to get off the plane, and Mochi then assaulted the deputies who were trying to restrain him.

Deputies said they had to forcibly remove Mochi from the plane.

The incident occurred on the same day that another passenger on another JetBlue flight to Boston allegedly assaulted a flight attendant.

Bryan Garnett, 48, of Utica, N.Y., was arrested as he arrived in Boston. Massachusetts State Police said Garnett slapped a male flight attendant.

Garnett told WPBF 25 News that he sat down, reclined his seat and fell asleep.

“The flight attendant came over and instead of tapping me on the shoulder, he reaches for the button to pull the seat upright,” Garnett said in a telephone interview. “So this is my left pocket where I keep my wallet (and) my money, so my natural reaction was to push his hand away.”

An East Boston District Court clerk later determined that the encounter occurred while the plane was on the ground in Florida. The clerk said Massachusetts has no jurisdiction to charge Garnett with interfering with a flight crew and assault and battery.

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