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Worst Passenger of the Week

Worst Passenger of the Week: “Just a Country Boy Trying to Have a Good Time”

Worst Passenger of the Week: “Just a Country Boy Trying to Have a Good Time”
Jeff Edwards

Once a week, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.

HONORABLE MENTION: GROUND TRANSPORTATION

It can be frustrating when another passenger jumps the queue at the airport, but for a family just trying to unload the car at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), the experience was downright terrifying. Police say the departing air travelers fell victim to an unexpected act of violence early Monday morning, shortly after arriving at the facility just south of Fort Myers when Addi Maqableh carjacked the family car.

To make matters even more serious, there was still a baby in the backseat when the 36-year-old usurper attempted to make off with the vehicle. According to local media reports, the mother managed to jump into the backseat in an attempt to keep the infant safe. The father, meanwhile, managed to grab a hold of the automobile and was dragged for several feet before the alleged thief managed to make his escape.

Authorities report that, miraculously, no one was injured during the departure lane carjacking and the vehicle was found abandoned not far from the airport. It seems Maqableh may have had a good reason to be in a hurry to arrange ground transportation. He had reportedly just relieved another unsuspecting passenger of her pocketbook before stealing the car. He now faces a slew of charges, including “aggravated battery, robbery, kidnapping of a minor, kidnapping/false imprisonment of an adult, larceny” and (of course) “vehicle theft.”

3RD PLACE: CREW TIMEOUT

A pilot for Delta Air Lines subsidiary Endeavor Air was arrested by Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) police on Friday after admitting to being behind a yearlong vandalism spree at the airport. The captain told investigators that he was “going through a rough time and had anger issues.”

After allegedly being captured writing graffiti in an airport elevator during a hidden camera sting, police say James Dees confessed to dozens of instances of vandalism, including writing racial slurs on airport property and private vehicles in airport parking lots. The string of racially charged graffiti incidents in which phrases, slurs and political slogans, such as “#MAGA, TRUMP4EVER” and “Send them ALL back” were scrawled in public areas including the elevator, parked cars, and several men’s restroom stalls.

“These actions in no way reflect the values of Endeavor Air and this individual is no longer employed by the airline,” an airline spokesperson told Tallahassee CBS affiliate WCTV.

In addition to losing his livelihood, Dees is now facing serious criminal charges, including nine counts of “criminal mischief.” After first being confronted by investigators, Dees decided not to pilot a scheduled flight and instead turned himself to airport police, reportedly telling officers he was “not in the right state of mind to fly a plane” and instead wanted to deal with the criminal issues as a “responsible person.”

2ND PLACE: IRREGULAR OPERATIONS

Less than a year after police arrested an American Airlines pilot who was preparing to fly a commercial flight departing from Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport on murder charges, authorities have once again arrested a pilot at the airport. Although the aviator at the center of this most recent arrest wasn’t on duty at the time, his alleged crimes are no less disturbing.

Investigators say Spirit Airlines Captain Robert W. Brown Jr. was taken into custody on Friday on “child exploitation” charges related to child pornography. The disgraced crew member, who arrived in Kentucky as a passenger on a Republic Airways flight, is being held in Louisville Metro Jail and is expected to be extradited to Indiana to face charges.

Spirit Airlines told reporters that Brown has been employed by the carrier since September. Company officials say that he has since been “removed from the company’s flight schedule.”

“The New Albany Police Criminal Investigation’s team has thoroughly investigated this matter which involves extraordinarily disturbing factors,” New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey told Louisville FOX-affiliate WDRB in a statement. “I would like to thank the Louisville International Airport Police for their assistance in apprehending Mr. Brown.”

THE WINNER: TERMINAL P

There are any number of ways for passengers to signal that they are in no state to board a plane. A would-be-air-traveler at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) chose a direct approach. Police say Chad Burkey calmly approached an airport information desk before dropping his pants and urinating on the floor. The whole soggy affair, which took place this Wednesday, was caught by security cameras in the terminal building.

When officers caught up with the homesick Minnesota man who was unsuccessfully trying to get home, he was reportedly “standing in a puddle of urine” and “speaking incoherently.” Burkey explained his objectionable behavior by telling the police that he was “just a country boy trying to have a good time.” The excuse didn’t hold water (so to speak) with cops as the lonesome Timberwolf is now facing “indecent exposure” charges far, far from home.

It turns out, even if the wayward travel had been in his right mind, there is very little chance he would have been able to secure passage back home to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. According to the arrest report, the urine-soaked passenger had no identification on his person at the time of his arrest.

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