Passenger on Miami Flight Arrested for Allegedly Attacking, Groping Flight Attendants

A 22-year-old man was arrested after allegedly groping and attacking flight attendants—prompting them to restrain him to his seat using duct tape—on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami on Saturday.

Cellphone video of the incident, posted to Twitter by ABC News reporter Sam Sweeney, appears to show the man, who has identified as Maxwell Berry, punching a flight attendant. By Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than one million times.

In the video, the person identified as Berry is also seen yelling obscenities while not wearing a mask, as other passengers appear to laugh at him.

"You guys f****** suck," he yelled. "My parents are worth more than f****** $2 g******, and you know what—you f****** suck."

He also said his grandfather is "worth more than this f****** plane."

Frontier passenger allegedly touched 2 flight attendants breasts, then screamed his parents are worth $2 million, before punching a flight attendant. Frontier suspended the crew for duct taping the passenger to his seat as they landed in Miami. 22 yr old Max Berry is in custody. pic.twitter.com/4xS9Rwvafx

— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) August 3, 2021

Later, flight attendants are shown restraining him to his seat using duct tape.

WPLG-TV, a South Florida television news station, reported that he allegedly groped the breasts of two female flight attendants and had several drinks while on the flight. He faces three counts of battery.

Passenger Alfredo Rivera, who caught the incident on camera while sitting in the row behind Berry, told WPLG that he had never seen a situation like this.

"He started to get aggressive and basically attacked the male flight attendant," he told the station.

Frontier Airlines said in a statement to Newsweek that the flight attendants will be "relieved of flying" pending an investigation.

"During a flight from Philadelphia to Miami on July 31, a passenger made inappropriate physical contact with a flight attendant and subsequently physically assaulted another flight attendant," the statement said.

"As a result, the passenger needed to be restrained until the flight landed in Miami and law enforcement arrived. The flight attendants will be, as required in such circumstances, relieved of flying pending completion of an investigation."

Frontier said in a statement later Tuesday afternoon that the airline "maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight."

"We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved. The inflight crew members' current paid leave status is in line with an event of this nature pending an investigation," the second statement said.

Newsweek reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department but had not heard back by publication.

People on Twitter weighted in on whether or not the flight attendants handled the situation correctly.

"The crew acted to ensure the safety of the flight, the crew, and the other passengers. Suspending them makes no sense. They should get a bonus for safely landing the flight!" wrote Twitter user @EmadsWasHere.

There have been a significant increase in reports of unruly passengers on planes in 2021. As of August 1, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 3,715 reports of unruly passengers. More than 2,700 of those reports were mask-related.

The FAA has initiated 628 investigations so far this year. That is more than double the number of investigations in any year since at least 1995, according to the FAA's website. Investigations previously peaked in 2004, when there were 310.

Several incidents have been reported on planes in recent months. On Friday, a woman from Daytona Beach, Florida, was arrested in Rapid City, South Dakota, on charges including disorderly conduct after she allegedly "indecently exposed herself to other passengers on the plane."

Updated 08/03/2021, 5:07 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a second statement from Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines
A viral video shows a man being duct-taped to his seat in a Frontier Airlines flight after he allegedly groped and attacked flight attendants. Above, a Frontier plane at Los Angeles International Airport on October 3, 2016. FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images