Irishman arrested at JFK Airport after allegedly mooning flight crew: Feds

Airplane At Boarding Gate
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Port Authority Police Department officers at JFK International Airport took an unruly passenger off a Delta Airlines transatlantic flight from Ireland. A soccer coach from Galway City had been shown a red card by the flight crew for some heinous conduct after he “pulled down his pants and underwear and mooned a flight attendant and passengers,” according to federal prosecutors.

Shane McInerny, 29, was en route to Florida on Jan. 7 to take a new coaching job teaching soccer at an academy in Daytona, when he became unruly during the eight-hour flight: he repeatedly refused to wear a face mask; he threw a beverage can that struck a fellow passenger in the head; and he took off his own cap and placed it on the head of the flight captain who had tried to restore order in the cabin, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court last Friday, Jan. 21.

McInerney made his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Vera Scanlon on Jan. 14 when he was charged with intentionally assaulting and intimidating a member of a flight crew on Delta flight 45 from Dublin, Ireland, to JFK Airport. The charge is a felony and if convicted, McInerney could face up to 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

McInerney, who was seated in the economy section of the cabin, began a string of disturbances when he walked into the Delta One class section of the airplane and began to complain about his food, according to charges. He became more difficult as attendants tried to usher him back to his seat.

McInerney is accused of threatening the captain by putting a fist in front of his face, saying, “Don’t touch me.”

Because of his numerous disturbances, flight crew members “considered diverting the airplane to another airport to remove the defendant before the completion of the trip,” according to the complaint.

In addition, McInerney “disobeyed the orders of flight attendants as the airplane was on final approach” to JFK. As the flight crew members, flight attendants and passengers were buckled into their seats, instead of remaining seated, McInerney “stood up, left his seat, entered the aisle and refused to sit back down,” according to the complaint.

At least one passenger found the defendant’s conduct to be “scary,” according to a federal agent.

McInerney was taken into custody by officers from the Port Authority Police Department when the flight arrived at the gate. He was released on a $20,000 bond, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.