A business-class passenger aboard a US-bound flight from Mumbai to Newark allegedly grabbed a female passenger’s breasts while she was asleep on Air India flight AI-191.
According to reports, the man was travelling in business class when he requested to be moved to a vacant seat in economy class, next to a female passenger. Soon after the woman fell asleep, the man, 40, groped her. It was then that the woman woke up hysterical, and complained to the cabin crew.
Following the incident, the woman warned the man and then complained to the crew. A complaint was lodged against the suspect by the woman and Air India upon arrival in the US, following which he was handed over to the police.
“The alleged molester was assigned business class seat 8F, which is in the second row of the aircraft. He told the cabin crew in the business section of the Boeing 777 that he would be sitting in the economy section as his colleague was there and they had to complete some work,” sources said.
Upon confrontation, “The man told the crew that he was a frequent economy-class flyer and could not sleep in business class. He said he found a vacant seat and occupied the same,” The Times of India quoted sources as saying.
Following the series of incidents, the man tried everything possible to get himself out of trouble. “He began grovelling and requested the crew to allow him to meet the woman to apologise and say that he had accidentally touched her while he himself was asleep. The woman refused to meet the person.”
When things didn’t seem to work out, the man resorted to writing a six-page apology letter, parts of which read, “please do not let a moment’s stupidity on my part kill my children’s future. I beg of you. I know I should have thought of these things before… I acknowledge I was stupid. Please do not let everyone suffer because of me”. He also said he had a “handicapped brother” and that he had “just moved to the US from India”.
He further explained that the woman’s complaint would create obstacles for him in obtaining US citizenship. “I wish I could rewind time and correct what has happened. But please do not let five minutes of stupidity kill what I have worked on for 40 years… Because of the immigration status we are in, it means punishment for all linked to me,” he wrote.
This article originally appeared on The Times of India