August 4, 2017
Passenger on United Airlines Flight Accused of Groping Teen

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A 28 year-old medical student from India has been accused of groping a 16 year-old girl on a United flight from Seattle to Newark on July 23rd. The alleged groper was seated next to the unaccompanied teen on the transcontinental flight.


According to the 16 year-old female, she was asleep and was awakened by the man touching her thigh. She removed his hand and went back to sleep. However, this didn’t stop the assailant. The man, fondling her inner thigh, later reawakened the teen.  The traumatized girl notified the flight crew and her seat was changed immediately.


When the flight landed, United flight attendants apparently did nothing to stop the assailant from leaving the aircraft. The FBI eventually apprehended the man. The 16 year-old identified Vijakumar Krishnappa, the 28 year-old from India, in a photo lineup. He’s currently in the United States under a medical fellowship program. The international medical student has been charged with knowingly engaging in sexual conduct with a minor.


The 16 year-old girl’s family is also filing charges against United Airlines for failing to properly detain the alleged criminal. United responded by saying “The safety and security of our customers is our top priority” and is reviewing the matter.


Image Courtesy of MarketWatch via Getty Images


In a year full of controversy in the American airline industry, particularly United, you would think the company would clean up its act. Or at the very least, use common sense. However, the trend seems to be that United employees typically fail when incidents like this occur. United has no problem having cops pull a doctor off a flight for not willingly giving up a seat he paid for, but doesn’t bother reporting something like this to police. As Ari mentioned in his review of a Business Class Seoul-San Francisco flight operated by United, the fundamental problem with the airline is that front line employees lack empathy.


H/T: Washington Post