Refusal to Wear Mask on Flight Leads to Charges

The Colorado man also allegedly urinated in the plane
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2021 2:11 PM CDT
Refusal to Wear Mask on Flight Leads to Charges
An Alaska Airlines aircraft.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

A Colorado man who told authorities that he drank several beers and “a couple of shots” before boarding a flight was arrested earlier this month after allegedly refusing to wear a mask and urinating in the cabin of the aircraft, the AP reports. Landon Grier faces a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew and attendants, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine, in connection to the March 9 incident on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Denver. According to an affidavit, a female flight attendant asked the 24-year-old Canon City resident several times to put on a mask, but he refused and “began to push and swat her hand away as she tried to gently tap his shoulder to get his attention,” per Yahoo News. “He subsequently struck her arm two to three times in an attempt to aggressively dismiss her,” an FBI agent said in the affidavit. FAA rules require airplane passengers to wear face coverings.

Later, per the affidavit, Grier “took out his penis, and began peeing,” in the area around his seat KUSA reports, noting that the incident played out as the aircraft was “descending over the mountains in turbulent conditions,” preparing to make an emergency landing in Denver due to an unspecified mechanical issue. “The disruption caused the pilot crew to divert attention from their emergency landing preparation,” according to the affidavit. Grier said he didn’t remember hitting the flight attendant and “awoke to being yelled at by the flight attendants who told him he was peeing.” He appeared in court Thursday and was released on $10,000 bond, per the AP. He is scheduled to appear in court again on March 26. “We will not tolerate any disturbance onboard our aircraft or at any of the airports we serve,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. (Read more face masks stories.)

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