A South Florida man faces up to 20 years in federal prison after he was accused of assaulting passengers and crew members on a Miami-bound flight from Russia last week.
A federal air marshal said Pavel Nesvat had to be physically restrained by flight attendants after he hit fellow passengers and crew members, “inappropriately” touched and grabbed a female passenger sitting next to him and approached the plane’s cockpit while wearing a backpack.
Special Agent Joel Beck said in his Aug. 2 criminal complaint that Nesvat’s tantrum happened about five hours into the flight aboard a Transaero Airlines 747. Beck works for the Transportation Security Administration and is assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Miami International Airport.
According to Beck’s report:
Nesvat began throwing ice cream jars at other passengers and hitting them. When a flight attendant told him to sit down and stop his attack, he groped a female passenger next to him. He then attacked two flight attendants by “physically assaulting them and pulling their ears.”
When Nesvat put on his backpack and approached the front of the plane, a flight attendant stopped him. She said Nesvat “was unable to answer questions about his intentions for moving forward,” Beck wrote.
He continued to “aggressively fight with one of the flight attendants “who was in fear of becoming seriously injured.”
Several flight attendants had to subdue Nesvat in his seatbelt.
“Nesvat attacked the flight attendants while they attempted to secure him in his seat,” Beck wrote.
The jet’s captain heard the fighting and requested law enforcement officers meet the plane when it landed at Miami International Airport.
U.S. District Court Judge William Turnoff set Nesvat’s bond at $200,000. He was arrested on a charge of interfering with a flight crew, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 15.
It’s not clear where Nesvat lives. Beck, who did not return phone calls for this report, said in the complaint that Nesvat has dual U.S. and Russian citizenship.
Nesvat’s attorney, Filipe Jaramillo, referred questions to his boss, Jason Kreiss, who did not return a phone call message.