Cherruy Loghan Sevilla, a 24-year-old man from Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty in a Virginia court for interfering with flight crew and assault on a United Airlines flight from Miami to Washington D.C. last October.
According to the FBI, prior to boarding the flight, Sevilla admitted to consuming magic mushrooms. As a result of this, he began to display disruptive and erratic behaviour on board, including wandering around the plane, running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit, yelling obscenities and getting in other passengers’ faces.
The situation escalated when he broke a lavatory door and refused to remain seated, lying in the aisle and preventing a flight attendant from performing her pre-landing safety duties. He then jumped up and lunged at the flight attendant, twisting her breast, causing a 7 cm bruise and deep tenderness to the areola. Another flight attendant and passengers intervened, but he continued to resist and twisted the arm of the second flight attendant.
For his actions, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for interfering with flight crew, along with a one-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine for the assault. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that it is unlikely for him to receive the maximum sentence.
The incident highlights the importance of the safety of passengers and the crew on board and the consequences of disrupting the peaceful atmosphere on the flight by violent or aggressive behaviour.