Delta passenger mooned flight attendant, threw can at traveler, FBI says

An Airbus A321 from the Delta fleet. (Delta Air Lines file photo)

A 29-year-old man is accused of carrying on violent and disruptive behavior during an eight-hour flight from Ireland to the United States earlier this month, according to court documents that were unsealed on Friday.

Shane McInerney, 29, appeared in federal court in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, to face a felony charge of intentionally assaulting and intimidating a member of a flight crew, according to the U.S. attorney. A federal magistrate released him on a $20,000 bond.

McInerney was a passenger on Delta Air Lines flight 45 from Dublin to Kennedy Airport in New York on Jan. 7. During the flight, he threw an empty drink can that hit another passenger in the head; pulled down his pants and underwear to "moon" a flight attendant and some passengers; kicked the seat in front of him, rattling the person sitting there; refused to wear a mask despite the crew asking him to dozens of times; and even more, according to an FBI's affidavit filed in court.

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At least one passenger told the crew that McInerney's behavior was "scary," authorities said.

At one point, the Delta captain, who was on break, confronted McInerney, who repeatedly plopped 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. 

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The flight crew had to repeatedly stop what they were doing to confront McInerney about his behavior during the flight and at one point considered diverting the plane to another airport so they could kick him off the flight, according to the affidavit. However, ultimately the plane continued on its flight path to New York.

When the Airbus A-330 jetliner was on its final approach to JFK and all passengers and crew were buckled in, McInerney got up from his seat, went into the aisle, and refused to sit back down, the FBI wrote. 

In response to an email from FOX 5 NY, McInerney's attorney, Benjamin Yaster, said he had no comment. 

McInerney lives in Galway, a city in western Ireland, officials said. He was on his way to Florida to start a job as a soccer teacher at a sports academy in Daytona, FOX 5 NY was told.