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Air Marshal Sues TSA Over Spilled Drink

Panic in the airplane with pilot screaming for sudden failure

An air marshal filed a lawsuit against the TSA after he was booted off a flight following an argument with the flight’s captain.

A federal air marshal is suing the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) for discrimination after a pilot kicked the marshal off a flight after a heated argument.

The New York Daily News first reported that air marshal David Maldonado filed the suit Monday in a Brooklyn federal court. According to the suit, Maldonado, who works from the TSA’s New York field office in East Elmhurst, Queens, pre-boarded a plane on August 4, 2012.

Prior to takeoff, a flight attendant dropped drinks on Maldonado and “responded by laughing sarcastically and walking away without apologizing … or offering to clean the spill,” according to the filing.

Maldonado claims the flight attendant intentionally spilled the drinks, and says he was further incited when an attendant later offered another air marshal three meal choices, but only offered him the “beef” entrée.

Maldonado then went to the cockpit where he told the flight’s pilot he might be required to report the incident to TSA’s Mission Operation Center in Washington, D.C.

“Are you mad? Because I don’t want a mad person with a gun on my plane,” the pilot allegedly responded. “I didn’t serve 21 f***ing years in the military being shot at so that you can threaten me with a phone call!”

Maldonado reportedly stepped off the plane to make the call, and when he attempted to re-board, the captain refused to let him back on the plane. For seven days after the incident, Maldonado was suspended pending an internal TSA investigation.

Maldonado alleges his suspension was TSA’s retaliation for two internal complaints he issued five years prior. In addition, Maldonado also claims a supervisor said he had mental health issues and told him to contact TSA employee assistance for anger management.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
jonsg October 12, 2015

Name of airline, or it didn't happen. *grin*

KRSW October 9, 2015

The pilot is the ultimate authority on the plane -- Good for him! If he's uncomfortable with someone on his plane, I fully support him in yanking them from the flight.

fotographer October 9, 2015

get over yourself, you fly for free, well unlike most of us, you are paid to fly

Eye of Storm October 9, 2015

The funniest thing about this story may be the description of the offered entrée as "beef" rather than beef. Probably the quotation marks to describe the food are warranted!

JDiver October 8, 2015

What's his beef?