Italian woman tied to her seat mid flight after she ‘punches and spits at Indian airline crew’
An Italian woman was arrested in India’s Maharashtra state after she allegedly spat on a crew member and stripped in an Vistara aircraft after arguing with the staff on board an Abu Dhabi to Mumbai flight.
Police in Mumbai said that Paola Perruccio, 45, was booked and presented in court and later released on bail.
“The woman has been booked for misbehaving. We served her a notice and produced her before the court, following which she was allowed to go,” deputy commissioner of police Dikshit Gedam (zone VIII) was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
According to a complaint lodged by crew member Labat Khan, the incident took place on Monday at around 2.30am, when Ms Perruccio left her allotted seat in economy and took a seat in the business class.
“Soon after, a crew member inquired if she needed help,” an officer was quoted as saying to the outlet.
Authorities said that the woman was asked to return to her seat.
“But she did not acknowledge their presence. Following this, they requested her to return to her seat as she had booked an economy class seat,” the officer said.
Ms Perruccio then allegedly, punched the complainant, and when another crew member intervened, she spat on her face.
Mr Khan said that she had endangered the lives of other passengers.
“While on board, the woman beat me, misbehaved by stripping and littering the plane, and endangering the lives of other passengers.”
In a statement Vistara said that Ms Perruccio had to be restrained mid-air, reported NDTV.
“In view of the continued unruly conduct and violent behaviour, the captain issued a warning card and made a decision to restrain the customer.
“The pilot made regular announcements to assure the other customers onboard of their safety and security. In accordance with the guidelines and our stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs), the security agencies on-ground were informed to take immediate action upon arrival.”
According to Ms Perruccio’s lawyer Prabhakar Tripathi she had requested to be moved to a vacant seat, reported BBC.
Mr Tripathi said that she was “uncomfortable” in her allotted seat and “requested to be moved to a vacant seat” and that caused a “disagreement” with the crew.
He added that she was also allegedly not allowed to use the bathroom due to turbulence.
“She was later allowed to go to the washroom but was tied up on return,” Mr Tripathi was quoted as saying.
He also denied media reports which quoted police officers as saying that the woman was drunk.
Police said that she had been booked on charges of “misbehaviour.”
Incidents onboard flights have been on the rise in recent weeks.
Last month a passenger on board an Air India flight from New York to Delhi was arrested after he urinated on a woman in business class.