Indian Passenger Gropes Teen Aboard United Flight
A 28-year-old Indian groped a 16-year-old girl on a United flight from Seattle to Newark. The girl was sleeping, and woke up to find passenger Vijakumar Krishnappa’s hand on her thigh. Krishnappa removed his hand, and the girl went back to sleep. However, she woke up again, only to find his hand on her groin. According to a criminal complaint filed against him in federal court in New Jersey, he had rubbed the girl through her clothing. He also tried to put his other hand inside her pants.
The girl then notified a male flight attendant who moved her to another seat. The girl’s mother, and not United airlines, contacted the authorities after the plane had landed, by which time Krishnappa had already left the airport.
The girl’s attorney said that the incident has affected the girl so much that she is unable to sleep and concentrate. The attorney claims that the airline violated its own policy — the airline is supposed to contact authorities immediately following allegations of a criminal act committed in the air.
“The safety and security of our customers is our top priority,” United said in a statement. “We take these allegations seriously and continue to work closely with the proper authorities as part of their review.”
The FBI has managed to track down Krishnappa, who is a doctor from India. The police arrested him, but he was released after he paid $50,000 as bail. The FBI also forbade him from contacting the girl. His lawyer denies the charges and says that he is an innocent man. The doctor is in the United States for a month-long medical fellowship, which allows foreign doctors to come to the country to learn and do research.