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Emirates accused of taping old man’s mouth shut

February 1, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Emirates cabin crew have been accused of striking an elderly passenger and taping his mouth shut because he accidentally took the wrong seat, though there seems to be more to the story.

The alleged victim, 71-year-old David Ukesone, was left with a welt on his face and “significant wounds on his wrists and ankles,” according to his lawyer, Howard Schaffner.

Schaffner told the ABC News network in the US that flight attendants tied the 71-year-old Nigerian man up and taped his mouth.

A report on the incident in the New York Daily News demonstrates a wide gulf between what the airline says happened and what the man’s lawyer says took place.

Ukesone, a retired policeman, was flying to Chicago, having been granted a visa to join his wife and their adult children. Apparently he returned from visiting one of the aircraft’s toilets and accidentally sat in the wrong seat, which was close to his assigned seat.

“The man did nothing more than sit in the wrong seat,” Schaffner told the American ABC network. “Even if he’s in the wrong seat you don’t have to beat the guy.”

Schaffner said he plans to file a lawsuit against Emirates over the alleged incident.

Ukesone alleges he wasn’t given food or water and his mouth was taped for the remaining eight hours of his flight.

Emirates says Ukesone “had to be restrained by cabin crew due to unruly behaviour during the flight,” the New York Daily News reported, quoting a spokesperson for the airline.

Emirates alleges the Nigerian entered another class on the flight and assaulted cabin crew.

The airline says cabin crew “constantly monitored Mr. Ukesone’s welfare throughout the flight”.

“The safety and security of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised.”

Ukesone is reported to have been wheeled off the plane in a stretcher and taken to hospital, leaving his son unsure of his father’s whereabouts – though ABC News said there was never an arrest nor a police report for the incident.

Written by Peter Needham

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