A Queens man has been charged with sexually assaulting a sleeping passenger on a JetBlue flight to JFK airport earlier this month. According to a Brooklyn Federal Court complaint obtained by the Daily News, one Othniel Polanco was arrested when the flight landed at JFK on July 11th. A passenger sitting two seats over witnessed Polanco grope a man sitting next to him—the male victim was leaning forward and sleeping on his tray table when Polanco allegedly slid his hand up the guy's shorts. Yet another reason why men should put on a pair of freaking pants once in a while.
FBI special agent Thais Canin alleges that Polanco was sitting in the window seat with a jacket "covering his furtive movements" during the incident. When his sleeping victim awoke to discover that he was being groped, he promptly punched Polanco in the face. The flight crew initially restrained the victim before they realized that his violent outburst was sparked by an unsolicited unhappy ending.
Polanco, 29, initially claimed he had fallen asleep and didn't realize where his hand had wandered off to. (Between two pillows?) Later, he admitted he "crossed a boundary." He was released on $100,000 bail yesterday and ordered to undergo a mental examination. He'll be confined to his parents’ home and forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet monitor, though it doesn't seem like it's his ankle that needs monitoring.