Kevin Douglas Creek pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting police officers during the Capitol riot.
Creek, 47, was captured on body camera footage striking officers, according to the criminal complaint.
Creek faces up to eight years in prison. He’s one of more than 700 charged in the Capitol riot.
A former Marine pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, DC, on Wednesday to assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers during the January 6 Capitol riot.
Kevin Douglas Creek, 47, struck, pushed, and kicked police officers who were trying to protect the Capitol during the attack by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, according to court documents detailing the guilty plea.
Creek, who is from Georgia, was arrested in June and charged with assault as well as disorderly and disruptive conduct and physical violence on the Capitol grounds, among other charges. The additional charges were dropped as a result of his guilty plea.
Videos taken on the day of the insurrection showed Creek “assaulting law enforcement officers who were carrying out official duties,” the criminal complaint said.
The complaint included screenshots of body camera footage of a man identified as Creek assaulting multiple officers, including images of him kicking an officer who was trying to block him with a riot shield.
Days after the riot, Creek visited a hospital and said he had been teargassed at the Capitol riot and had bruises, according to an unidentified source cited in the complaint.
During an interview with the FBI in May, Creek was shown the videos of the assaults on officers. Creek said he went to the Capitol on January 6 but “did not remember assaulting any officer,” the complaint said. He also told the FBI he was armed with mace and a boot knife while at the Capitol.
“When asked if Creek regretted his conduct on January 6th, he responded: ’50/50,'” the complaint said.
Creek faces up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for March 2022.
A Spirit Airlines passenger sued the airline, alleging a flight attendant sexually assaulted him.
According to the complaint, the alleged assault happened after the passenger was given several free bottles of whiskey.
Spirit Airlines didn’t return requests for comment.
A Spirit Airlines passenger said a flight attendant offered him free alcohol, requested that he move to a private area of a plane, and then sexually assaulted him, according to a complaint.
The passenger, named only as M.B., filed a lawsuit last week against the airline, saying the carrier had been negligent. He sought damages of more than $150,000.
“This lawsuit was brought to seek justice for our client who, as our complaint asserts, was sexually assaulted by a flight attendant on a Spirit Airlines flight,” Gregory Spizer of VSCP Law in Philadelphia, told Insider via email. “We look forward to pursuing the case in Court.”
The lawsuit coincides with a rise in violent incidents aboard airplanes, although much of that unruly behavior has been aimed at flight crews. On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it had received 5,033 unruly passenger reports in 2021. The FAA has opened 950 investigations in 2021, more than five times the 183 investigations it opened in 2020.
The lawsuit accused Spirit of negligence, saying the airline “should have known” about the flight attendant’s “propensities to sexual violence, physical violence and sexual deviance.”
But the complaint, which only used the flight attendant’s first name, did not offer further details about the flight attendant’s previous behavior. It was unclear if he’d been disciplined previously, or if the allegations about the flight attendant were speculative.
“Upon information and belief, Spirit Airlines failed to conduct a thorough background check or reference check on [the flight attendant,]” the complaint claimed. “Had Spirit Airlines conducted such a check, it would have discovered the concerns raised herein.”
Spirit Airlines didn’t return requests for comment.
M.B., of Atlanta, was flying on June 30 to Philadelphia to visit family, according to his complaint. He was seated near the back of the plane.
The flight attendant first gave him a free water bottle, according to the complaint. He “soon returned, winked at Plaintiff and pushed mini bottles of Jack Daniels into his chest.” The flight attendant then stopped to offer more, and, a few minutes later, he “placed a balled-up napkin” with his phone number on M.B.’s table, the complaint alleges.
As the flight approached Philadelphia, the attendant “called Plaintiff to a private area at the back of the plane behind the bathrooms,” the complaint claims.
Flight attendants are “in charge while the plane is in the air,” so M.B. complied, the complaint said.
“When Plaintiff went to the back of the plane where [the flight attendant] had called for him, [the attendant] looked around and then, without warning, grabbed, groped and fondled Plaintiff’s penis and private area,” the complaint said. The flight attendant “then tried to unzip Plaintiff’s pants.”
In the lawsuit, Spirit was accused of six different counts, including assault, battery, and gross negligence in its hiring and supervision.
The complaint alleges that M.B. first contacted local police, but he was told that he’d have to contact the FBI instead, since the alleged assault happened in the air, as the plane approached Philadelphia. His complaint claims he filed a report with the bureau.
Carrie Adamowski, spokesperson for the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, said she couldn’t “confirm or deny any particular contact or the potential existence of an investigation.”
“As a general matter, though, allegations of criminal conduct are reviewed by the FBI for their merit, with consideration of any applicable federal laws,” Adamowski said in an email. “When warranted, the FBI proceeds to take appropriate action.”
A summons was issued to Spirit on Wednesday, according to the docket in the US District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania.
20-year-old Brian Hsu has been charged with the assault of an American Airlines flight attendant.
Hsu is accused of striking a crewmember after she inadvertently bumped him when walking past mid-flight.
The defendant is in custody and is set to be arraigned in Denver at a later date.
California resident Brian Hsu, accused of striking an American Airlines flight attendant in the face, has been charged with assault.
On Monday, US prosecutors in Colorado charged 20-year-old Brian Hsu in the assault of a female flight attendant on a flight bound for Santa Ana, California, on October 27, which forced the plane to divert to Denver where Hsu was arrested.
Hsu is expected to appear in a Santa Ana court Monday afternoon ahead of his arraignment in Denver set for a later date, according to central California’s US district court. The defendant remains in federal custody and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
In response to a request for comment, Hsu’s attorney referred Business Insider to a video American Airlines CEO Doug Parker posted to social media.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the charge.
The crewmember was sent to the hospital to treat her injuries and was later released, Hedrick told The Post. An American spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the flight attendant was treated at a local hospital, but, due to privacy concerns, could not comment further.
Unruly passenger violence has been at an all-time high since the pandemic, with nearly 5,000 reports received by the Federal Aviation Administration as of Monday. Of those, 3,580 were mask-related.
In a video posted to Instagram, American CEO Doug Parker addressed the mid-flight violence and emphasized Hsu should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”
“This type of behavior has to stop,” he said. “American Airlines will not tolerate airport or inflight misconduct of any kind, particularly towards crew members and our airport team.”
Update 11/1/2021: This story has been updated with a comment from Hsu’s attorney.
A female soldier at Fort Bliss reported she was assaulted by a group of male Afghan refugees, officials said Friday.
“We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico,” Lt. Col. Allie Payne, director of Public Affairs for Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division, said in a statement to ABC-7.
Payne said extra security measures will be taken at the at the Doña Ana Complex, such as better lighting, and that the soldier has recieved medical care and counseling. She also said the FBI is investigating.
Sources with knowledge of the incident told ABC-7 the assault was not sexual in nature and that the soldier was attacked near her car after arriving for duty.
Violence is an ongoing problem for female soldiers, particularly sexual assault and harassment. According to the nonprofit Futures Without Violence, “women in the military are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to geographical isolation from family and friends, and the potential for social isolation within the military culture.”
During the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghan allies and refugees were evacuated and sent to the states. Nearly 49,000 are being held on eight military bases throughout the country as they await resettlement, according to a federal document obtained by The New York Times.
More than seven months after a mob of pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol building, authorities have identified and arrested a high-profile suspect who was photographed dragging a police officer down a set of stairs during the siege.
HuffPost, which first reported Barnhart’s arrest, said Barnhart became a “white whale” for online internet sleuths searching for information on unidentified insurrectionists in the aftermath of the attack. The “Sedition Hunters” community gave Barnhart the nickname “CatSweat” because he is alleged to have worn a Caterpillar brand sweatshirt to the Capitol on January 6.
The FBI had been referring to the suspect, who was wanted for assaulting officers, as Capitol suspect 128-AFO. According to HuffPost, the outlet identified Barnhart months ago thanks to the work of “citizen sleuths,” but refrained from publishing his name because of his violent history, which includes rioting charges from his teenage years.
In April, Sedition Hunters discovered video of Barnhart at the Trump rally preceding the Capitol attack that showed him without sunglasses, giving sleuths the opportunity to search publicly available facial recognition materials on the internet. The search yielded multiple images of Barnhart, including photos of him on bodybuilding websites and photography portfolios, according to HuffPost.
Sedition Hunters even uncovered photos of a shirtless Barnhart posing on the cover of multiple romance novels, with names like “Stepbrother UnSEALed: A Bad Boy Military Romance.”
But it was Barnhart’s Instagram that ultimately led to his arrest. According to HuffPost, Barnhart posted a photo of himself in July 2019 in which he was wearing the same American flag that he would be photographed in at the Capitol on January 6. An August 2020 video on his account featured a similar Caterpillar-branded sweatshirt as well.
Prosecutors allege that Barnhart was part of a multi-person attack against police officers outside a tunnel on the western side of the Capitol. Barnhart on Tuesday was added to a 22-count indictment that names seven people accused of being involved in the attack on a DC Metropolitan officer.
Barnhart did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Ronald Colton McAbee, 27, of Unionville, Tennessee, was also arrested on Tuesday in connection to the assault, and was charged with inflicting bodily injury. Both men made initial court appearances in their respective home states on Tuesday morning, according to the Department of Justice.
In addition to Barnhart and McAbee, Jeffrey Sabol, Peter Francis Stager, Michael John Lopatic Sr., Clayton Ray Mullins, and Jack Wade Whitton, who were already been arrested, are also named in the indictment.
Prosecutors say Whitton and Sabol dragged the officer down the stairs and into the crowd, where Stager beat him with an American flag pole.
In undisclosed locations near airports around the country this month, flight attendants are receiving training in aggressive self defense moves that are specially designed for close-quarters.
Flight attendants learn the double-ear slap, the eye-poke, and the groin-kick. They learn tricks to swiftly disarm passengers with sharp weapons, and how to use items readily available aboard a plane for defense.
The moves are designed to de-escalate and quickly subdue passengers because in the words of former trainer Scott Armstrong, “you don’t want to get into a long, drawn-out fight.”
This is, as they say, not a drill. Just last week, the training was famously put to good use, when a female passenger on an American Airlines flight to North Carolina attacked and bit several flight attendants and tried to open the plane’s door mid-flight.
Resourceful flight attendants grabbed a roll of duct-tape, and the woman arrived at her destination, subdued and bound tightly to her chair. It might not have been standard protocol but it was effective and American Airlines later applauded its crew.
It’s not just your imagination; there really has been an extraordinary amount of mayhem in the skies recently.
A video of a woman attacking a Southwest flight attendant and knocking out two of her teeth before another passenger stepped in to help recently went viral.
The annual flight attendant training, which the Transportation Security Authority (TSA) started in 2004 and paused due to Covid19, resumes at a time of record-breaking reports of delays due to passenger misbehavior on commercial flights.
During a year when many travelers stayed home due to Covid-19, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it has received 3,420 reports of “unruly passenger” incidents on planes as of July 13. More than three quarters of those incidents have been related to passengers refusing to abide by the federal mask mandate.
With five months left in the year, the average number of reports has already been surpassed roughly threefold, and the FAA has set up a new special task force to investigate.
There are also more firearms being discovered during routine x-ray screenings of carry-on luggage, according to the TSA. As of mid-July, roughly 3,000 weapons have been intercepted so far in 2021, and 85% of them were loaded, the TSA told Insider in an email.
Over the 4th of July weekend, 70 guns were discovered at airport checkpoints. This month, six firearms were seized at airports in Oregon over a single 10-day period, an “astounding” number, according to the TSA. Nationally, the TSA says we are on-trend to double the yearly average for weapons seizures.
Flight attendants are on the front lines, and say the self-defense training is sorely needed.
Sarah Nelson, the president of the International Association for Flight Attendants (AFA), believes the training should be made mandatory. In a town hall posted on YouTube, she said that flight attendants have become “literal punching bags” for the public and that many had left their jobs.
“This should send a message to the public that these events are serious and flight attendants are there to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the plane,” Nelson told the press.
Nelson’s group says it received over 5,000 responses to its fact-finding survey on unruly passengers. According to an AFA spokesperson, more flight attendants than ever have been requesting support and advice from the union.
What can be done?
And yet, in the face of all of this, the options that are available to airlines are limited.
There are not necessarily enough federal air marshals – officials who dress in civilian clothes and are tasked with protecting against the most extreme in-flight scenarios – to be aboard every flight, and their responsibilities have never covered keeping the peace for fellow travelers. For security reasons, the TSA does not disclose the number of federal air marshals or discuss their specific duties or routes.
Regulations say that cabin safety is the responsibility of flight attendants.
Meanwhile, unruly behavior in the skies has traditionally been met with warnings and relatively small federal fines, as well as bans imposed by individual airlines. When an arrest is made, it is generally by state law enforcement.
Looking for new ways to shame travelers into exhibiting better behavior, the FAA has broken with its usual protocol and began publishing details about the incidents. The FAA has previously kept this information private but, a spokesperson explained, figured the details might make people think twice before acting out on a plane.
Also, the FAA has chosen to get creative.
The agency has tweeted jocular memes, including one featuring Brad Pitt as part of a public awareness campaign.
In another campaign launched in early July, adorable kids starred in a public service announcement that lampooned poorly-behaved adults. A wise, winsome toddler cautions that grown-ups can go to jail if they keep “doing that stuff.”
“They should know better if they’re, like, adults,” another child says – quite reasonably – while swaying past the screen perched in a swing.
Since January, the FAA has had in place a zero-tolerance policy, which did away with warnings and made it possible for fines – which accused passengers can contest in court – to be larger than ever.
When FAA’s chief administrator Steve Dickson announced the policy in January he cited the events of Jan. 6, when supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, but more recently incidents have been tied to the mask mandate. Passengers deciding to bring alcohol aboard flights was another common thread to the incidents.
That policy will be reviewed in September, when the mask mandate is set to expire, and there is some discussion of making it permanent.
As a result, in-flight misbehavior has become increasingly expensive. Under zero-tolerance, the FAA has handed down a whopping $682,000 in fines year-to-date against 84 passengers, many over $10,000.
The steepest fine proposed so far this year was $52,500 for a Delta Airlines passenger who, last December, tried to open the cockpit door, assaulted a flight attendant, and was subdued and cuffed with the help of passengers. The woman, who was flying from Honolulu to Seattle, then freed herself of the cuffs to assault the flight attendant a second time, and was met by law enforcement upon arrival.
Another fine of $21,500 went to a Frontier Airlines passenger who argued about the mask policy, drank alcohol not served by the airline, and argued with a nearby passenger before striking the passenger in the head.
And a woman in Indianapolis was fined $18,500 because she argued with the captain of the plane, and punched a nearby passenger in the back of the head, while the passenger was holding an infant.
Because of the enormous caseload, the task force has not yet processed fines for the incident involving the flight attendant who lost teeth.