Air Canada flight diverted after Alberta man allegedly bites flight attendant
TORONTO — A 47-year-old man from Fort McMurray, Alta. has been charged after a flight attendant was allegedly assaulted on an Air Canada flight en route to New Delhi.
Jaskaran Sidhu faces two counts of mischief, assault causing bodily harm and endangering safety of an aircraft after exhibiting “assaultive and belligerent” behaviour towards the flight attendant, Peel police said.
Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesperson Siobahn Desroches said Air Canada flight AC070 left Pearson at 8:57 p.m. ET, and the incident occurred approximately three hours in the flight, when it was over the Atlantic Ocean. The flight was diverted back to Toronto and landed at 2:20 a.m., when police took Sidhu into custody.
A passenger told Global News Sidhu took a bite from the flight attendant’s finger after the airline employee pointed at him aggressively.
“The crew member just pointed the finger, ‘don’t touch, don’t touch.’ Eventually he just cut the finger … by mistake. I think,” said Pavitar Khakh, who was sitting behind the accused on the flight.
Police said the flight attendant was injured and treated at the scene.
“I saw the finger of the staff member, bleeding,” passenger Manveer Kaur said. “They took a U-turn and we came back here.”
WATCH: Frustrated passengers describe alleged assault aboard Air Canada flight
The flight was initially scheduled to take off earlier Tuesday but poor winter weather forced Air Canada to postpone the flight shortly after the plane made it to the runway.
“The day before yesterday as it was cancelled, everyone was feeling very disappointed,” passenger Mangot Kaur said.
“It was a very bad experience for us last night. We had to come back after sitting six to seven hours on the airline. We are very tired and we have to sit 14 hours again.”
The accused has been identified as Jaskaran Sidhu. He faces two counts of mischief, assault causing bodily harm and endangering safety of an aircraft.
Sidhu was released on $20,000 bail Wednesday, including conditions that he stay away from Pearson International Airport, board any Air Canada flight, have any contact with the flight attendant or consume any alcohol. He is due back in court on January 25.
A new India-bound flight left Toronto’s Pearson airport just after noon.
With files from David Shum and Lama Nicolas
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