Florida-bound soccer coach charged after FBI said he refused to wear mask aboard flight

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An Irish soccer coach bound for a new job in Daytona Beach was arrested on Jan. 7 after refusing to wear a mask on a flight and causing numerous disturbances, including mooning a flight attendant, federal court documents show.

Shane McInerney, 29, was aboard a transatlantic Delta flight from Dublin to New York and "repeatedly refused to wear a facemask despite being asked dozens of times by flight crew personnel to put on a mask," the arrest affidavit states.

McInerney "threw an empty beverage can," hitting another passenger in the head, then later kicked the back of another passenger's seat, the affidavit states.

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The flight's captain spoke with McInerney, who twice took off his cap, placing it on the captain's head. "The defendant also put one of his fists up close to (the captain's) face and said: 'Don't touch me,'" according to the complaint.

Shane McInerney, a soccer coach working in Daytona Beach, is seen in his Peru State College (Nebraska) uniform last year in a screenshot of a YouTube video.
Shane McInerney, a soccer coach working in Daytona Beach, is seen in his Peru State College (Nebraska) uniform last year in a screenshot of a YouTube video.

He walked from his seat in the coach section to first class and complained about his food. When one of the flight attendants escorted him back to his seat, McInerney "pulled down his pants and underwear and exposed his buttocks to passengers nearby," the document states.

On the plane's final descent, when passengers were told to be seated and belted, McInerney "stood up, left his seat, entered the aisle and refused to sit back down," according to the complaint.

After landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York, McInerney was taken into custody by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

He was charged with intentionally assaulting and intimidating a member of a flight crew.

McInerney did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

He played with the Jacksonville Armada professional soccer team in 2018. A two-sport athlete, last fall, McInerney earned All-Nebraska NAIA/NCAA Division III first-team honors as a kicker for Peru State College. He has played as a professional football player in Ireland, Australia and the United States and worked as a model in Miami.

A profile on coachup.com shows McInerney offering soccer lessons at parks in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and DeLand.

A story in the Daily Mail had an Instagram post from Sunday showing McInerney relaxing in Daytona Beach with a fruity drink in his hand. His account has since been locked down.

He had been released on $20,000 bail.

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This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: FBI: Florida soccer coach refused to wear mask, disrupted flight