India-bound flight diverted back to Toronto after flight attendant assaulted
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2015 8:08AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:38PM EST
An Alberta man is facing charges after a flight attendant was assaulted early Wednesday, forcing an Air Canada flight bound for New Delhi to return back to Toronto.
Police say a 47-year-old man was arrested and charged after “assaultive and belligerent behaviour towards a flight attendant” while aboard Flight AC70.
Witnesses said the disruptive passenger used abusive language during the incident, which happened just after 12:30 a.m., as the plane was travelling over the east coast.
The plane diverted back to Pearson International Airport, where Peel police took the man into custody.
The diversion wasn’t the first headache for passengers on this particular flight. The plane was initially scheduled to take off on Monday but it was delayed by poor weather.
Passengers told CTV Toronto's Scott Lightfoot that the flight taxied to the tarmac Monday evening, but was brought back from the runway because of the conditions.
Instead, the plane took off Tuesday night, but was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff due to the unruly passenger.
Passengers told CTV Toronto that an argument broke out in the cabin, and one said she saw a man push the flight attendant.
Another woman said she heard the attendant shouting, "He bit my finger! He bit my finger! Look at my bloody finger."
Passenger Manveer Kaur said she wasn’t near the alleged incident, but recalled seeing a crew member’s finger bleeding.
Speaking with reporters at the airport on Wednesday, Kaur described the whole situation as "really bad."
“We’re so tired,” she said. “I don’t know what is going on.”
Passengers were told there was a medical issue, and the flight had to return to Toronto. When it arrived, 47-year-old Jaskaran Sidhu was arrested and charged with two counts of mischief.
The Alberta resident was also charged with assault causing bodily harm and endangering the safety of an aircraft.
Sidhu appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Wednesday afternoon, and was released on bail. His next appearance was scheduled for Jan. 25.
Hours later, Kaur and the rest of the passengers embarked on their 14-hour flight from Pearson International Airport shortly after noon.
Police are asking anyone with information to call investigators at the Airport Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 905-453–2121, ext. 3133. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.