Landon Grier is the Colorado man accused of exposing himself and urinating in his seat during a flight from Seattle to Denver after repeatedly refusing orders from flight attendants to put on a mask. According to the federal criminal complaint, Grier was also accused of striking the flight attendant’s arm by attempting to “push and swat her hand away” during the March 9 flight.
Grier, 24, faces a federal charge of “Interference with Flight Crew Members and Attendants.” He could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine if convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.
A public defender was assigned to represent Grier, federal court records show. Heavy has reached out to Grier’s attorney for comment on the case but we have not heard back.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Grier Was Asked to Put on a Mask at Least 8 Times & ‘Swatted’ at the Flight Attendant When She Tapped His Shoulder: FBI
The incident took place aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1474 from Seattle to Denver on March 9. According to the criminal complaint prepared by the FBI, Grier refused to put a face mask on “as required by airline policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The complaint states a female flight attendant asked Grier at least eight times to put on a mask.
Grier was sitting next to the window and “appeared to be attempting to sleep,” according to the affidavit. The flight attendant tapped Grier on the shoulder to get his attention. He ignored her at first before beginning to “push and swat her hand away,” she told the FBI.
The complaint adds that as Grier tried to “aggressively dismiss” the flight attendant, he struck her at least twice on the forearm. The crew member further told the FBI Grier had “disrupted the entire safety of the aircraft by refusing to wear his face covering.”
2. Grier Exposed His Genitals & Urinated Next to Another Passenger
Another passenger hit the call button later on in the flight to alert the flight attendants’ to Grier again. According to the criminal complaint, Grier had stood up and urinated at his seat. A female passenger told the FBI Grier had exposed his penis and “wet a paper bag she had with her” in the process.
A crew member told the FBI she witnessed Grier with his genitals out and urinating. She told him to sit down and zip up his pants. Grier simply told her, “I have to pee,” according to the complaint.
The flight attendants moved the other passengers who had been sitting near Grier. They also alerted the pilot to what was going. One of the crew members said the situation with Grier delayed her from preparing the cabin for landing, which endangered the safety of the passengers.
3. The Situation Distracted the Pilot, Who Was Preparing for an Emergency Landing
As all of this was going on, the pilot was preparing for an emergency landing due to a “mechanical issue.” According to the criminal complaint, the pilot and the first officer “had declared an emergency to air traffic control due to a maintenance issue onboard their aircraft.”
Their preparations were interrupted when crew members alerted them to Grier’s actions in the cabin, according to the complaint. The pilot told the FBI that during this interruption, the plane was flying over a mountainous area “during a high workload environment” and experiencing turbulence.
Alaska Airlines released a brief statement to the Associated Press after Grier’s arrest: “We will not tolerate any disturbance onboard our aircraft or at any of the airports we serve.”
4. Grier Said He Drank Alcohol & Took Pain Medication Before the Flight
Cañon City Man Charged for Interfering with Flight Crew https://t.co/2epC2ixsoK
— Colorado U.S. Attorney (@DCOnews) March 12, 2021
Once the plane landed, Grier agreed to speak to an FBI agent without a lawyer present. According to the complaint, Grier was advised of his Miranda rights before consenting to an interview.
Grier said he was returning home to Canon City, Colorado, after working in a gold mine in Alaska. He claimed he didn’t remember much about the flight.
Grier said he has consumed three to four beers and “a couple of shots” before getting on the plane. He said he had also taken an “over-the-counter pain reliever because he had body aches from working.” Grier explained he fell asleep during the flight and woke up to the sound of flight attendants yelling at him for peeing on the plane. According to the complaint, Grier said he didn’t remember striking the crew member and wasn’t sure whether he had urinated.
5. Grier Was Released on Bond & Ordered to Surrender His Passport
His next court appearance was scheduled for March 26. The judge set additional conditions Grier must abide by as the case proceeds.
Records show Grier was ordered to surrender his passport to the U.S. District Court Clerk’s Office. He cannot travel outside of Colorado “except for work travel, provided he gives his supervising officer the travel dates and location.” The judge prohibited Grier from drinking alcohol or possessing firearms or other weapons. Grier was also ordered against speaking with any Alaska Airlines crew members about the case.