A first-class Delta passenger is accused of hurling homophobic abuse and assaulting a flight attendant.
The passenger, said a criminal complaint, became angry after being refused an alcoholic drink.
The passenger told FBI agents that his self-professed “homophobia” may have caused his temper to escalate.
A passenger was arrested after he hurled homophobic abuse at a Delta Air Lines flight attendant and physically assaulted him on a flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Phoenix, Arizona, last Friday, according to a criminal complaint.
Christopher Alexander Morgan, who was seated in the first-class section of the plane, became disruptive before takeoff when he refused to comply with instructions to put his seat upright and to wear a seatbelt, the complaint said.
Morgan became increasingly unruly after a flight attendant refused to serve him a second alcoholic beverage and instead offered a non-alcoholic drink, according to the complaint.
Morgan is then alleged to have hurled a glass of ice at the flight attendant and shouted homophobic abuse at him, using the F-slur and calling him a “queer,” the complaint said.
Morgan was aggressive towards another passenger who tried to de-escalate the situation, according to the complaint.
The flight attendant informed the pilot about Morgan’s behavior, using a telephone near the cockpit, the complaint said. Morgan is accused of grabbing the phone and using it to strike the flight attendant in the chest.
Another passenger heard him repeat the F-slur, according to the complaint.
The complaint said that Morgan told FBI agents that the flight attendant was gay and that this made him feel “uncomfortable.”
‘Morgan said that he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating to the flight attendants,” the complaint reads. “He said that his homophobia may have caused his temper towards the flight attendant to escalate,” it continued.
Morgan admitted to FBI agents that he called the flight attendant “queer” but denies physically assaulting him, per the complaint.
In a statement to Insider, a Delta Air Lines spokesperson said that Morgan was met by law enforcement officers when he arrived in Arizona.
“Delta has zero-tolerance for unruly behavior and discrimination at our airports and aboard our aircraft and takes all reports of such behavior seriously, especially when directed at our employees,” the statement said. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our people and our customers.”
Morgan faces a charge of interference with a flight crew member, court records show. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 3.
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