An unruly passenger who told FBI investigators that he had taken magic mushrooms just before boarding a United Airlines flight from Miami to Washington D.C. has pleaded guilty to twisting a flight attendant’s breast, causing a large bruise and deep tenderness to her right areola.
Cherruy Loghan Sevilla of Houston, Texas, was arrested on suspicion of interfering with flight crew following the frightening incident onboard United flight UA2116 last October. Shortly after his arrest, Cherruy admitted to taking psilocybin – a psychedelic which can cause hallucinations.
On Monday, the 24-year-old pleaded guilty in a Virginia courtroom to interference with flight crew and assault. Cherruy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the interference offense, along with a one-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine for the assault plea.
According to court documents, Cherruy started to display “disruptive and erratic behavior” around an hour into the flight from Miami.
A statement of facts says Cherruy “was wandering around the plane, running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit, and yelling obscenities”.
He was also “getting in other passengers’ faces, staring and smiling at them.”.
Cherruy broke a lavatory door and refused to remain seated before he lay in the aisle, which prevented the flight attendant from performing her pre-landing safety duties.
The victim “calmly tried to instruct the defendant to take his seat” but Cherruy suddenly ” jumped up and lunged” at the flight attendant before grabbing and twisting her breast.
Another flight attendant, along with a passenger and a member of law enforcement, tried to pull Cherruy off the first flight attendant but Cherruy resisted and twisted the second flight attendant’s arm.
The flight attendant suffered a 7 cm bruise on her right breast, along with deep tenderness to the areola. She also sustained a low back contusion and neck strain.
Cherruy was eventually restrained and placed into handcuffs before the flight made a safe landing in Washington D.C. The Captain told the FBI that he declared a Level 2 disturbance – the second highest threat level.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Cherruy isn’t likely to receive the maximum sentence for his crimes.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.