Grabbing a woman's butt in a bar could earn the asshole in question a well-deserved slap or a drink tossed in his face. But doing the same thing on an airplane might result in two years behind bars.
That's the lesson being learned right now by Thornton's Evan Castle, who's been charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado with abusive sexual contact for groping a flight attendant during what he said was his first time ever on an airplane. Get details from the vivid affidavit in the case below.
The morning of April 5, according to the document, Castle was ensconced in a fourteenth row seat of Spirit Airlines flight 562 from Las Vegas to Denver, and en route, he had four alcoholic drinks -- Tanqueray shooters, he later said.
Apparently, the beverages left him well lubricated, because at one point during the flight, the affidavit says he started using profane language, escalating to screams of "Fuck this, fuck that."
A flight attendant, age thirty, soon headed his way and told him to put the obscenities on mute. In response, he's said to have shouted, "I can say whatever I want" -- and then went on to prove it by making a pass at the woman.
"You should give me your number," he's quoted as saying, adding, "I should date you."
Shockingly, this pitch didn't work, so he turned his affections toward another flight attendant, this one 21 years old. "You're beautiful," he told her.
"Thank you," she replied, then walked away.
Castle wasn't dissuaded. Some time later, he allegedly told the second flight attendant, "You're fucking beautiful.... You're fucking sexy.... I can show you a better time than work.... Blow off work and come with me."
The flight attendant ignored these comments, but when she strolled by Castle's seat again, he seized the right cheek of her buttock and said, "Oh sexy."
"Oh nausea" is more like it.
Continue for more about the Spirit Airlines incident, including the complete affidavit. The flight attendant told the affidavit's author that the incident left her feeling "annoyed, pissed, violated and disgusted," not to mention understandably wary of moving past Castle's row again. Before long, another flight attendant saw her crying.
Once the flight was on the ground, Castle got the opportunity to chat one-on-one with an FBI agent; as the affidavit points out, an aircraft in flight is under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
Among Castle's statements:
• He was flying for the first time.
• He is married, with children.
• He didn't have anything to drink before getting on the plane, and gobbled no drugs.
• He gulped the shooters while flying in an attempt to get drunk, but he didn't feel he'd succeeded. (That's debatable.)
• He wasn't being a nuisance, and he hadn't made a pass at either stewardess.
Not that they escaped Castle's notice. He described the second flight attendant -- the one he's accused of grabbing -- as the more attractive of the two, with long brunette hair. He insisted, though, that he only spoke to her once and never laid a finger on her.
As for the first flight attendant, identified by him as a beautiful blond, he didn't recall her talking to him about his language and behavior. But he'd subsequently fallen asleep, and when he awoke, he felt there'd been a dispute and she had an "attitude towards him." He also thought she didn't like her job.
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No wonder. Castle was arrested and has already made his first court appearance. If he's convicted, he faces not more than two years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Here's the affidavit.
More from our Strange But True archive: "Domestic violence episode (and arrest) on Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Denver."