Jan. 27, 2022 Staff Report
An unruly Irishman who caused havoc on a flight into J.F.K. Airport — including mooning flight attendants and throwing a beverage can at another passenger — has been hit with a felony charge in Brooklyn federal court.
Shane McInerney, 29, was busted for interfering with a flight crew’s duties as well as intentionally assaulting and intimidating a member of a Delta flight crew on Jan. 7 onboard a flight from Dublin, according to recently unsealed federal court documents.
McInerney, a soccer coach from Galway, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
According to the charges, McInerney refused “dozens of requests” from the flight crew to wear a mask on the plane and allegedly created numerous other disturbances including throwing an empty beverage can which hit a passenger in the head and kicking another passenger’s chair.
At one point during the eight-hour flight, McInerney, who had an economy class seat, stormed into the first class cabin to complain about the food he had been served. When a flight attendant escorted him back to his seat, he pulled down his pants and underwear to expose his buttocks to the flight attendant and other passengers.
In another incident, the flight captain tried to restore order in the cabin only for McInerney to allegedly whip off his own cap and place it on the flight captain’s head. He then raised one of his fists to the captain and said: “Don’t touch me,” according to the court documents.
McInerney also refused to remain seated on the final approach to J.F.K.’s runway when all passengers and flight crew were buckled into their seats. He stood up, entered the aisle and refused to sit back down, prosecutors said.
At least one passenger considered McInerney’s menacing behavior to be “scary,” while the flight crew considered diverting the plane to another airport to remove him from the Delta plane, prosecutors said.
McInerney was admitted to Jamaica Hospital for medical and psychological evaluation after the flight landed in J.F.K. He had been en route to Florida to take up a new coaching job teaching soccer at an academy in Daytona, according to prosecutors.
He was arraigned on Jan. 14 in Brooklyn federal court and released on $20,000 bail. He was also ordered by the judge to seek mental health care, according to reports.
McInerney played as a kicker for Peru State College’s American football team last year, scoring nine out of nine field goals, according to published reports.