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A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines flight

A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines morning flight from Atlanta to Detroit.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 9:51 AM


A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines morning flight from Atlanta to Detroit.

Detroit student Tia Jackson, 22, told CNN she was in the middle seat Tuesday while her friend was sitting by the window and a man they didn't know had the aisle seat.

During the flight, Jackson said she put in her AirPods and went to sleep, leaning on her friend with her back to the man in the aisle seat.

Just before the plane landed, she felt the person next to her touch her, and didn't know what it was at first. "Then I thought, maybe he just bumped me," she said. The touch then changed and she felt the man's hand inside the back of her pants, according to Jackson.

She immediately jumped up and pushed the call button, she said, and told the man, "Hey -- you are going to stop touching me! Get off of me!"

Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, who offered to move her seat, but she refused because she didn't want to leave her friend and she felt like she was being punished for what he'd done.

"He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!" she said she told the flight attendant.

None of the passengers were moved

Neither passenger was moved, according to Jackson, and the plane landed at the Detroit airport. She said she spoke to the pilot as she deplaned, and the pilot told her to talk to the gate agent.

Jackson said she felt ignored and mistreated by the airline so she filed a report with the police at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

Spirit Airlines said they're aware of the incident and offered to move Jackson to another seat at the time.

"We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation," the airline said in a statement.

"Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention. Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat. The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him, because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other."

The airline said by the time Jackson declined to move, landing was imminent and everyone had to be seated as required by federal regulation.

"Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived," the airline said. "We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them."

Passenger says airline failed her

Jackson said she's speaking out because she is worried about other potential victims. "He needs to be held responsible. He is a predator. He displays predatory behavior. Who knows who else he has done this to," she said. "I don't want anyone else to ever have to fall victim to him."

She accused airline employees of failing her when she reported the alleged incident. "They let him and any potential witnesses leave," Jackson said.

Police told CNN the police report has not been finalized and the FBI is handling the investigation.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
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Posey240328
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Spencer192422
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Starke175643
Jay168223
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Carroll159115
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Perry155229
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Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
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