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Reston Man Arrested After In-Flight Assault

by Karen Goff February 2, 2016 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

Jet Blue/Credit: Jet BlueA Reston man has been charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a fellow passenger and two flight attendants on a Sunday flight from Washington to Jacksonville, Fla., federal authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville said Joseph Michael Sharkey, 36, was a passenger on Jet Blue Flight 715 when he verbally assaulted another passenger and then placed that passenger in a headlock.

He also tried to open the plane door in flight, according to a criminal complaint.

“When ordered by a flight attendant to return to his seat, Sharkey at first complied but then assaulted the flight attendant and made an effort exit the airplane through an exit door,” according to the federal criminal complaint.

“Sharkey was stopped by another flight attendant, but then fought with him, kneeing him in the groin. The flight attendants enlisted the help of volunteers and subdued Sharkey, placing him in flex cuffs for the remainder of the flight. ”

When the flight landed safely in Jacksonville, Sharkey was removed from the flight by airport police.

Sharkey is being held in Jacksonville and will have a formal hearing on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Sharkey had four alcoholic drinks during the flight.

Sharkey has been in similar trouble before. In 2012, when he was a resident of Woodbridge, he was accused of stealing a truck through a security fence there while under the influence of alcohol, according to news reports.

In that incident, he was charged with burglary, grand larceny auto, destruction of property, driving under the influence of alcohol (his third offense in 10 years), refusal to submit to a breath test and driving on a revoked license.

Jet Blue plane/file photo

  • Ming the Merciless

    I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink, I get drunk, I attack other passengers and the flight attendant, I try to open the exit door, no problem! Oh wait, that is a problem?

  • Well Grounded

    A candidate for the “No Fly” list I suspect

  • johnQpublic

    3rd DUI in 10 years on top of wanting to open up an exit door on a plane! Please lock up Sharkey before he utter stupidity kills someone.

    • Mallory

      Ok John listen up…I think you’re being one hell of an insensitive d**k. Did u ever think about maybe why he drank? Maybe he was nervous about flying? Or going through a tough time? Plz don’t tell me you’ve never gotten drunk and done something u regret. Not cool dawg not cool

  • tattler

    With photo goodness

    • Jamie

      do u actually think that’s necessary sir

  • Mike M

    The last two paragraphs show why Mr. Sharkey should have been locked up before this incident. I think he has a little more than a drinking problem. Let’s see how the system bounces him back this time.

  • Wings!!

    Poor guy had to fly to Florida to go to a Hooters because Reston dosen’t have it’s own.


  • taffytoo

    did he get any jail time with the first offense..? What job did he have now?…This will continue until he gets some serious intervention..

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I hope you get the help you need, Mr. Sharkey.


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