Airline allegedly offered woman $75 as 'hush money' after allowing man who masturbated next to her to walk free
21-year-old Mikaela Dixon was traveling with her boyfriend on August 11 when she noticed that the man was inappropriately touching himself and making her very uncomfortable
A woman who flew via a United flight from Orange County in California to Chicago claims that the man who was seated next to her in the flight masturbated for "hours" and the airline did not report the incident to law enforcement.
21-year-old Mikaela Dixon was traveling with her boyfriend on August 11 when she noticed that the man was inappropriately touching himself and making her very uncomfortable. She took to Twitter to share her horrific experience and wrote, "My bf was asleep in the window seat, I’m in the middle, and the man is in the aisle. I had no idea what to do, I couldn’t get up bc I didn’t want to go anywhere near him". She also shared how the incident gave her the "worst panic attack of (her) life".
Dixon revealed that she could not alert the airline staff without the man knowing and had to wait until he left his seat. She wrote, "I sat there shaking until he got up to go to the bathroom as we landed". Once she had told the staff about the man, they shifted her to another row and the airline reportedly told her that they had contacted the local law enforcement.
As soon as the airplane landed, the man "bolted" but Dixon claims that he was detained and then escorted into the airport. Upon asking what would happen to the man, Dixon says that the airline refused to give her any sort of information but instead handed her $75 as "hush money". Dixon eventually came to realize that the passenger in question had been released. She also reached out to the Chicago police department but was told that they were not alerted about the incident.
According to Buzzfeed News, officer Michael Carroll said that they had received a 911 call from a citizen and not the airline. By the time the police arrived on the scene, the man had already taken off.
Dixon said, "They were desperately trying to keep it internal. Basically, United lied about everything, let the man go after a few questions, and refused to involve law enforcement until I called the cops myself and forced them to file a report w [sic] the FBI".
A spokesperson for United told Fox News that they are "investigating the matter to learn more about what happened". "The safety and well-being of our customers is our top priority. Our customer was immediately moved to a different seat when the flight attendants were made aware of the issue and the aircraft was met by our security personnel. Although United Airlines, as a company, cannot press charges on our customers’ behalf, we will provide as much assistance as possible to law enforcement authorities should they investigate this matter further," the spokesperson continued.