Jetstar passenger 'violently' tasered on flight after switching seats
The 30-year-old Melbourne dad now faces up to seven years in prison.
A “humiliated” Melbourne dad who was Tasered by police on a Jetstar flight on Saturday night says the incident made him feel “like an animal”.
Bolic Bet Malou was travelling from Perth to Victoria with his wife and one-year-old child on flight JQ977 when airline staff asked him to move seats. When he allegedly refused, the Australia Federal Police boarded the plane as stunned passengers watched on.
Footage published by 9News shows an officer telling the dad he needed to leave because he “failed to comply with aircraft instructions”.
“I need you to come with me right now. Either you come with us voluntarily or we’re going to grab you,” he says before a second officer lunges over the seat toward Mr Malou.
The 30-year-old can then be seen screaming in pain and falling onto other passengers as he is tasered. “Five police, four different taser guns at once,” he told 9News. “It’s voltage on a human that done nothing wrong.”
The dad said he simply wanted to remain seated next to his family, with Jaeris Vansson — who filmed the incident — telling the outlet it appeared Mr Malou had “come to an amicable agreement with another passenger and everybody had swapped just fine”.
The fellow passenger claimed that at no stage was the dad “verbally or physically aggressive towards anyone”. “It went from like just this argument with staff, to this guy screaming at the top of his lungs being tasered,” Mr Vansson said. “It was very violent and very sudden. Even I was shaking.”
Eventually, the 30-year-old dad and his family were removed from the plane and it departed.
AFP claims Jetstar passenger injured three officers
The Australian Federal Police allege Mr Malou injured three police officers while “acting disorderly on a domestic flight”.
“AFP officers at Perth Airport responded to an airline’s call for assistance on Saturday night, after a passenger allegedly acted aggressively and refused to comply with the direction of airline staff,” a press release reads.
“The man allegedly refused to follow further requests from officers to disembark the plane. It will also be alleged that he became more aggressive and proceeded to physically assault an AFP officer attempting to arrest him.”
Mr Malou was arrested and has been charged with assaulting a police officer, obstructing a public officer, disorderly behaviour in a public place and faces a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. He remains in Perth due to bail conditions which restrict him from returning home to Melbourne until his trial in June, 9News reports.
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Passengers must remain in allocated seat, Jetstar says
A Jetstar spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the safety of their customers and crew is their number one priority.
“While the vast majority of our customers behave well, we have zero tolerance for those who don’t. Our crew called the AFP for assistance when a customer became abusive towards our crew, repeatedly refusing to follow their instructions to move to his assigned seat.
“For safety reasons under aviation regulations, passengers must remain in their allocated seat for take-off and landing and comply with cabin crew instructions at all times,” the spokesperson continued.
“The AFP removed two customers from the aircraft, and one was later arrested. After checking on the welfare of the remaining customers and crew on board, the flight departed Perth approximately one hour after its scheduled departure time.”
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