Southwest Passenger Arrested for Masturbating FOUR Times During Flight

·2 min read
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

A man on a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to Phoenix is facing federal charges for pulling down his pants and masturbating at least four times in front of a female passenger, beginning shortly after takeoff, according to a criminal complaint first obtained by The Daily Beast.

Antonio Sherrodd McGarity was arrested by officers from the Phoenix Police Department when Southwest flight 3814 landed at Sky Harbor International Airport on Saturday, the complaint states. However, McGarity told cops that he didn’t do anything wrong and in fact “thought it was kind of kinky,” it says.

The incident started early on in the three-hour flight, when McGarity commenced his indelicate behavior, the filing alleges.

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“McGarity was seated in seat 11F and the female witness was seated in seat 11E,” the complaint states. “Shortly after taking off, and while the aircraft was in the air, McGarity exposed his penis by pulling down his pants and shorts and began masturbating.”

When the female seated next to him noticed the lewd behavior, she began taking pictures of McGarity. When he fell asleep after masturbating for roughly an hour, the female passenger told a crew member about what she had witnessed and was allowed to move to another seat.

<div class="inline-image__credit">U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona</div>
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

The complaint states that when the Southwest Airlines flight landed, Phoenix Police officers interviewed the woman, who reiterated she had seen McGarity masturbating “on four separate occasions, using both his left and right hands.”

McGarity was also interviewed by FBI agents, who allegedly admitted to his in-flight behavior.

“McGarity advised he asked the female witness if she minded if he masturbates,” the complaint states. “According to McGarity, the female witness put her hands in the air and said, ‘it really doesn’t matter.’”

McGarity thought the response was “kind of kinky” and believed the female was comfortable with him masturbating, the complaint adds.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, a Southwest spokesperson said McGarity had been slapped with a lifetime ban.

“On April 2, we received reports of inappropriate Customer behavior on flight 3814 from SEA to PHX. The situation was reported to Crewmembers while inflight, and the Captain contacted law enforcement to meet the aircraft upon arrival,” the airline said. “We immediately placed the passenger on our No-Fly List, resulting in a lifetime ban from traveling on Southwest.”

It was not immediately clear if McGarity had retained a lawyer.

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Last year, a Southwest Airlines pilot was arrested and charged with exposing his genitals during a 2020 flight from Philadelphia to Orlando. That incident was “not witnessed by passengers,” according to court filings.

The Federal Aviation Administration last year ​​launched a whopping 991 investigations into passenger disturbances, a 441 percent increase over 2020. In 2022, there have so far been 1,035 unruly passenger reports, according to FAA data.

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