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Airline passenger taped to seat due to behavior

AP PhotoJohn Raoux (40)
Miami-Dade Police Department

A 22-year-old man was taped to his seat after he allegedly groped and assaulted several flight attendants during a Frontier flight from Philadelphia to Miami.

Maxwell Wilkinson Berry of Ohio was arrested on Saturday after the flight landed in Miami.

Authorities say that after having two drinks on the flight and ordering a third, Berry allegedly brushed an empty cup against the backside of a female flight attendant. The flight attendant then told Berry not to touch her.

He went to the restroom after spilling a drink on his shirt, but returned from the restroom shirtless. A flight attendant helped him find another shirt from his bag and helped him to put it on.

Berry then reportedly began walking around the plane and got “friendly” with another flight attendant before grabbing her breasts.

The 24-year-old then went on to put his hands around two other flight attendants and began groping them as well.

A male attendant was called to the area to monitor Berry for the remainder of the flight,  but at some point during that process Berry screamed that his parents are worth $2 million and punched that attendant in the face.

That’s when another attendant and passengers  helped to retrain Berry to his chair.

Berry was taken into custody for three counts of misdemeanor battery.

Frontier airlines reported that they planned to fire the employees who were involved in taping the passenger to the seat but later retracted their statement after Association of Flight Attendants union president Sara Nelson released a statement condemning the airline’s “knee-jerk”  actions.

“If this is not immediately corrected, flight attendants may feel unsafe to come to work,” Nelson said. “Management has a legal duty to maintain a safe work environment for employees.”

Frontier Airlines has now placed the employees involved on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.

“Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight. We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved,” the airline said.