Florida resident Kyriakos “Dom” Doukas, the passenger allegedly assaulted by Joseph Michael Sharkey, 36, of Reston, en route from Reagan National to Jacksonville, said Sharkey put him in a headlock about 2o minutes before they were to land in Jacksonville.
According to a criminal complaint, Sharkey, who was served four drinks during the flight, verbally assaulted Doukas and place him in a headlock; assaulted two flight attendants; and tried to open the cabin door while the plane was in flight.
Sharkey was charged by federal authorities with assault or intimidation of a flight crew. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
According to the complaint, after Sharkey’s scuffle with Doukas:
Sharkey got up from the seat and told the flight attendant that he was going to leave the aircraft; Sharkey had also told [flight attendant Robert] Studebaker he was a Federal Air Marshal and that the flight crew was under investigation; Sharkey attempted to walk to an exit door; Sharkey pushed flight attendant Studebaker who attempted to stop Sharkey; at some point Sharkey struck Studebaker in the groin with his knee; then two flight attendants used volunteers aboard Flight 715 to subdue Sharkey and place him in flex cuffs.
Doukas told News4Jax he was told by another passenger that Sharkey was “hammered before boarding” and that “as passengers waited for the FBI another flight attendant told him that he served Sharkey four rum and cokes during the flight.”
Doukas has asked Jet Blue to implement an internal policy of one alcoholic beverage per legal passenger per hour of a flight, the TV station reported.