Man duct taped during Frontier flight sentenced to jail
Maxwell Berry, who was taped to his seat on a Frontier Airlines flight last year after he groped and assaulted flight attendants, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and one year of supervised release.
Berry was sentenced in a U.S. District Court in Miami on Tuesday after pleading guilty to three counts of assault.
During a flight from Philadelphia to Miami in August, the 22-year-old had two drinks and ordered a third, police said. He brushed an empty cup against the backside of a female flight attendant, who told him not to touch her, according to officials.
He spilled a drink on his shirt, went to the bathroom and came out shirtless, so a flight attendant helped him get a new shirt from his carry-on bag. Berry then walked around the plane for 15 minutes, and began to “get friendly” with another flight attendant. He grabbed her breasts and also groped the other flight attendant’s breasts.
When a male flight attendant was called over to watch Berry, he punched the flight attendant in the face. He was then restrained by the flight attendant and nearby passengers, using a seatbelt extender and tape, according to the report.
Berry was arrested at Miami International Airport. Videos of the incident went viral online, some showing Berry screaming expletives and claiming his parents are “worth more than $2 million.”
Two of Berry’s victims were in court on Tuesday, local station WPLG reported. “My number role on any aircraft is to protect the passengers, including Maxwell Berry, who we did get to Miami safely that day,” said Jordan Galarza, the flight attendant whom Berry struck.
“You can say it looked a bit barbaric, but it worked perfectly and no one got hurt because of how we did what we did,” Galarza said of the duct tape restraint.
After pleading guilty in February, Berry and his lawyers issued a sentencing memorandum, asking the court for no jail time. “Max Berry is a good man who committed a bad act, that was not planned, it was committed in an unsophisticated manner, and it is an aberration,” the document reads.
They argued a “non-incacerative sentence with special conditions is an appropriate sentence that is ‘sufficient but not greater than necessary’ to achieve justice in this case.”
However, in documents about his guilty plea, the court laid out that Berry could still receive up to six months in prison for each count, totaling 1.5 years, plus one year supervised release. The court also said he could face a fine of $5,000 for each count, totaling $15,000.
Ultimately, Berry received a $2,500 fine and was and ordered to pay more than $1,500 in restitution in addition to his 60 days in jail and one year supervised release.
CBS News has reached out to Berry’s attorney, Jason Kreiss and is awaiting response. Kreiss spoke to WPLG after the hearing on Tuesday, saying: “Mr. Berry is looking forward to putting this incident behind him.”
Berry said in court that he feels very remorseful and embarrassed by his actions, WPLG reports.