Jet[Black and]Blue: Airline Pilots Charged with Battery and a Flight Attendent Charged with Abuse in Two Separate Cases from Fort Lauderdale

JetBlue seems to have taken a bad turn this week. In Fort Lauderdale, two JetBlue pilots, Pilots William Hart Smith, 40, and Brad Leopard, 38,, went to a strip club and then allegedly attacked a taxi driver over a $9 fare to a Subway restaurant. In the meantime, a women has said that a flight from Fort Lauderdale became a nightmare when a JetBlue flight attendant allegedly harassed and groped her.

The pilots allegedly attacked cab driver Juan Martin at about 2 a.m. after he picked them up at the Solid Gold strip club and took them to a Subway. The pilots left without paying and the taxi driver confronted them. He says that one of the pilots asked, ‘Who do you think we are? Tourists?”

Heck, no, we are JetBlue pilots damnit. (Well, they were JetBlue pilots before moving from strippers to Subway adventures).

In New York, Gina Rousett says that a flight attendant turned a flight from Fort Lauderdale into a nightmare. still traumatized eight months after she says a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Newark turned into a nightmare.

She says that the flight attendant Dayne Arokium insisted that no one would sit next to her “because I was all his.”

She insists that attendant Arokium’s behavior became highly lewd and abusive during the flight, including grabbing himself in front of her. He also allegedly showed her naked pictures of himself on his cellphone repeatedly. When she fled to the bathroom, she alleges that he followed her, making vulgar comments and grabbing her buttocks.

Because she did not file a complaint, it took seven months for Arokium was arrested on charges of “obscene and indecent exposure” and for making a “lewd, obscene and indecent sexual proposal.”

He no longer works for JetBlue (it appears that JetBlue insists on employees going to strip clubs for pornographic experiences).

The interesting element could be civil liability. Obviously, JetBlue is not responsible for the taxi assault. In the flight attendant case, however, there is obvious negligence that could be alleged in hiring, training and supervision. Moreover, they could try respondeat superior, thought the airline would argue that battery and intentional torts are usually outside of the scope of employment — a “frolic or detour” under common law.

For the Rousett story, click here

For the battery story, click here.