A 40-year-old man has been arrested after another passenger alleged he raped her on a transatlantic flight from Newark to London.
The British man is accused of forcing the unidentified woman – another passenger he did not previously know – while other passengers slept on the overnight United flight last week.
A London Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed that officers were there to arrest the man when the flight landed at Heathrow early last Monday morning. He was released pending an investigation.
The shocking incident was first reported by The sun newspaper, who said the two passengers were seated in separate rows in business class. The woman was said to have been “very upset” when she informed the flight crew of the alleged attack, allowing them to contact police in London. The man was arrested and taken to Heathrow Police Station for questioning.
An unnamed police source told the tabloid: “The woman said she was raped by the passenger during the flight while others were sleeping. She was upset and reported it to the cabin crew, who radioed the police , who was waiting for the plane to land.The parties apparently did not know each other beforehand, but had apparently been seen talking and drinking before and during the flight.
In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, United Airlines confirmed that the woman alerted the crew to the allegations, allowing them to notify authorities. A spokesperson said: ‘Our team called ahead and notified local authorities as soon as they became aware of these allegations. We will cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation.
Metropolitan Police said: ‘Officers met the aircraft on arrival and arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of rape. He was released under investigation. The complainant, a 40-year-old woman, is being cared for by specialized agents and investigations are underway.