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Shane McInerney is accused of carrying on violent and disruptive behavior during an eight-hour flight from Ireland to the United States earlier this month. At least one passenger told the crew that his behavior was “scary,” authorities said. Reportedly he was on his way to Florida to start a job as a soccer teacher at a sports academy in Daytona.

The 29-year-old McInerney from Galway, Ireland, appeared in federal court in Brooklyn on Jan. 14, facing a felony charge of intentionally assaulting and intimidating a member of a flight crew. He was released him on a $20,000 bond.

The Irishman was a passenger on a Delta flight from Dublin to Kennedy Airport in New York on Jan. 7. According to an FBI affidavit filed in court, during the flight, some of his transgressions included throwing an empty drink can that hit another passenger in the head; pulling down his pants and underwear to “moon” a flight attendant and other nearby passengers; kicking the seat in front of him, upsetting the person sitting there and refusing to wear a mask despite dozens of requests by the crew.

At one point, the Delta captain, on break, confronted McInerney, who repeatedly placed his own hat on the captain’s head and then held his fist in the captain’s face and said, “Don’t touch me,” the FBI agent wrote in the affidavit.

During the flight the crew had to repeatedly interrupt their regular duties to confront McInerney about his behavior and consideration was given to diverting the plane to another airport to have him removed. Ultimately the plane continued on to New York.

According to the FBI report as Airbus A-330 was on its final approach to JFK with all passengers and crew were buckled in, McInerney got up from his seat, stood in the aisle, and refused to return to his seat and fasten his seatbelt.

Authorities took him into custody upon landing.

According to his social media profiles, McInerney played professional soccer in Australia with Dandenong Thunder SC, and in Sweden with FC Linköping City. Last year, he was a kicker for Peru State College’s American football team.

In an interview last month with the The Irish Daily Star he spoke of his dream to play for the NFL.

Meanwhile, an Instagram post on January 16 showed that McInerney in Daytona Beach relaxing at the beach with a drink.

“Great to be back in the sunshine state,” he wrote. “Blessed to call this place home for the next few months.

In a statement, Delta said it, “has zero tolerance for unruly behaviour at our airports and aboard our aircraft as nothing is more important that the safety of our people and our customers”.

If convicted, McInerney faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Wouldn’t that be a bummer!

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News