Assaulting a flight attendant is a serious offense and for one Arkansas man, may lead to decades to prison plus a substantial fine.
Man Faces Huge Fine + Jail Time For Flight Attendant Assault On American Eagle
Leon Anderson, 40, pleaded guilty on Thursday to interfering with a flight attendant after an odd incident more than a year earlier on a PSA flight operating on behalf of American Eagle.
Onboard AA5686 from Charlotte (CLT) to Little Rock (LIT) on February 11, 2020, the incident began prior to takeoff. While walking down the aisle, a flight attendant felt his leg being grabbed. He turned around and saw it was Anderson.
Anderson apologized immediately and said it was a mistake. But moments later Anderson placed his arm on the flight attendant’s shoulder and his other arm on the flight attendants waist while apologizing again. The flight attendant pulled back and said no further apology was necessary.
During the flight, according to U.S. Attorneys, Anderson made “inappropriate, sexual comments” to the flight attendant and grabbed him two more times in a “sexual manner.”
The captain was notified and law enforcement met the aircraft upon arrival in Little Rock.
Anderson was originally indicted with one count of abusive sexual assault by a grand jury, but as part of the plea deal his offense was reduced to one count of interference with a flight attendant.
While he will likely receive a much lesser sentence, Anderson faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a jail sentence of up to 20 years for his actions.
He now awaits sentencing from Judge James Moody, Jr.
Sometimes the wheels of justice move slowly. This incident occurred before the pandemic began and is only now being adjudicated. But the bottom line is clear: assaulting anyone is a bad idea, but assaulting a flight attendant is a particularly serious offense that can lead to huge fines and jail time.
(H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo // image: American Airlines)