A British businessman allegedly tried to storm the cockpit of an American Airlines flight from Barbados to Miami after shouting at a flight attendant because he didn’t like the way the meal choice had been described, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Robert Croizat, a British citizen who lives in the ultra-low tax haven of Barbados, was arrested on suspicion of interference with flight crew after the pilots radioed ahead to report an onboard disturbance.
The former founding partner of an ‘international wealth management firm’ who is currently setting up a mental health charity in Barbados has since been charged with assault following the crazy March 8 incident aboard American Airlines flight AA1192 from Bridgetown.
According to an affidavit filed in Miami district court, Croizat first got upset around two hours into the three-and-a-half-hour flight when he allegedly got up from his assigned seat to berate a flight attendant, calling him a “sh**ty flight attendant” because he should have addressed Croizat better when describing the meal choices.
Croizat then allegedly turned his attention to a second flight attendant, repeatedly demanding that she “get the Captain out here” so that Croizat could speak with the pilot.
The flight attendants ordered Croizat to return to his seat but he refused to comply and then touched a third flight attendant. When she told him not to touch her, Croizat is accused of pushing her twice.
At one point, Croizat allegedly pushed and briefly pinned the second flight attendant against the cockpit door.
In the end, a good samaritan passenger “lifted” Croizat up and sat him back down in his seat. Croizat remained seated but continued to complain to the flight attendants who barricaded the galley with a meal cart.
The criminal complaint describes how the Captain told air traffic control that there had been an “attempted breach of the flight deck” – one of the most serious forms of unruly passenger behavior which is enough to prompt a major security operation.
The flight landed in Miami without further incident at around 6:33 pm and was met by law enforcement, who took Croizat into custody.
Originally intending to visit the Miami area for just five days in order to see his son, who lives in the United States, Croizat has had his passport confiscated and ordered to wear a GPS ankle bracelet.
Croizat’s attorneys recently filed a motion to allow their client to return to Barbados while awaiting a trial date, arguing that the cost of “exorbitant” Airbnb rentals and hotel rooms in the South Florida area had become “financially burdensome” and is causing “severe financial hardship”.
The request was rejected by the court, and the trial is currently set to go ahead at some point in June.
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.