An accountant arrested for groping a male stranger and masturbating on a Hawaiian Airlines flight has been sentenced to three years’ probation and fined USD 1000, avoiding jail even though it was his second conviction for disruptive in-flight misbehaviour.
Ricardo Caceres had pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to misdemeanour assault of another person by touching in an offensive manner without permission, the New York Daily News reported. He was said to have groped a man who was travelling with his wife.
Caceres blamed his behaviour on an adverse reaction to mixing alcohol and sleeping pills on the flight from Honolulu to New York.
He used the same excuse when arrested in 2013 for disruptive behaviour on another Hawaiian Airlines flight headed in the opposite direction, the paper reported. On that occasion, while on a flight to Honolulu, Caceres threw food, spat water and shoved a flight attendant.
When Caceres was charged with his latest offence, the New York Daily News observed that he was one of two “pervy passengers” charged in Brooklyn on the same day for molesting passengers on separate flights.
The other case concerned Chris Karadimas, who allegedly groped a woman on a Delta Airlines flight from Athens, then denied the incident ever took place and claimed that he was fast asleep.
A flight attendant on the Delta flight told the FBI that Karadimas had been sleeping so soundly he could not be woken. When he finally woke up, he began fondling the breasts of a woman next to him. Passengers were alerted to her cries and witnessed the attack, according to the complaint.
Reporting on the cases, the New York Daily News quipped that “the skies are a little too friendly” – probably a reference to the famous “fly the friendly skies” slogan, even though that phrase belongs to United Airlines, not Hawaiian.
Written by Peter Needham