British man raped fellow airline passenger in business class cabin during transatlantic flight: police
United Airlines - N851UA -Airbus A319 - San Francisco International Airport. © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a passenger on a United Airlines transatlantic flight from Newark to London has been arrested on charges of raping a woman in the business class cabin while the other passengers were sleeping.

"The British man is alleged to have forced himself on the unidentified woman — a fellow passenger who he didn’t know previously — while other passengers slept on the nighttime United flight last week," reported Jamie Ross. "A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers were there to arrest the man when the flight landed at Heathrow early last Monday morning. He has been released pending an investigation."

According to the report, first broken by The Sun, the "very distressed" woman reported the incident to the flight crew, who contacted police on the ground and had the 40-year-old attacker arrested and taken to Heathrow police station when the plane landed.

"In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, United Airlines confirmed that the woman alerted the crew to the allegations, allowing them to inform the authorities," continued the report. "A spokesperson said: 'Our crew called ahead and notified the local authorities as soon as they became aware of these allegations. We will cooperate with law enforcement on any investigation.'"

In recent years, violent and unruly incidents on aircraft have attracted national attention, some of them assaults on flight crew over COVID-19 mask mandates. One man on a flight from Ohio to Florida had to be duct-taped to his seat after groping flight attendants.

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