A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines flight

A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines morning flight from Atlanta to Detroit.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 8:40 AM
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 8:40 AM

A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines morning flight from Atlanta to Detroit.

Detroit student Tia Jackson, 22, told CNN she was in the middle seat Tuesday while her friend was sitting by the window and a man they didn't know had the aisle seat.

During the flight, Jackson said she put in her AirPods and went to sleep, leaning on her friend with her back to the man in the aisle seat.

Just before the plane landed, she felt the person next to her touch her, and didn't know what it was at first. "Then I thought, maybe he just bumped me," she said. The touch then changed and she felt the man's hand inside the back of her pants, according to Jackson.

She immediately jumped up and pushed the call button, she said, and told the man, "Hey -- you are going to stop touching me! Get off of me!"

Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, who offered to move her seat, but she refused because she didn't want to leave her friend and she felt like she was being punished for what he'd done.

"He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!" she said she told the flight attendant.

None of the passengers were moved

Neither passenger was moved, according to Jackson, and the plane landed at the Detroit airport. She said she spoke to the pilot as she deplaned, and the pilot told her to talk to the gate agent.

Jackson said she felt ignored and mistreated by the airline so she filed a report with the police at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

Spirit Airlines said they're aware of the incident and offered to move Jackson to another seat at the time.

"We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation," the airline said in a statement.

"Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention. Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat. The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him, because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other."

The airline said by the time Jackson declined to move, landing was imminent and everyone had to be seated as required by federal regulation.

"Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived," the airline said. "We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them."

Passenger says airline failed her

Jackson said she's speaking out because she is worried about other potential victims. "He needs to be held responsible. He is a predator. He displays predatory behavior. Who knows who else he has done this to," she said. "I don't want anyone else to ever have to fall victim to him."

She accused airline employees of failing her when she reported the alleged incident. "They let him and any potential witnesses leave," Jackson said.

Police told CNN the police report has not been finalized and the FBI is handling the investigation.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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