Federal charges for disruptive passenger on US Airways flight

Posted: May 16, 2014

A disruptive passenger whose behavior caused a US Airways flight to London to return to Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday night has been charged with intimidation of a flight crew member and related federal offenses.

Robert John Coppack, 40, who has dual citizenship in the United States and the United Kingdom, was on Flight 728 when two female passengers complained to a flight attendant that he had touched them inappropriately, and said they felt uncomfortable sitting next to him, according to court papers.

The women said Coppack had been drinking vodka.

When a flight attendant asked Coppack not to touch anyone, he became "aggressive and used vulgar language," court documents said.

He was told to walk to the rear of the aircraft, and on his way, he touched another female passenger on the arm and breast, according to the documents. The passenger, a retired flight attendant, described the encounter as "sexual in nature."

At the rear of the aircraft, Coppack was met by federal air marshals who were aboard. According to court papers, he threatened to assault them if they did not leave him alone. He was handcuffed and restrained in a seat until the plane returned to Philadelphia.

Federal prosecutors will seek to have Coppack detained in the United States until his trial, said Patricia Hartman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. The plane took off again five hours late.


lloyd@phillynews.com

215-854-2831

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