Miami man faces up to 20 years in prison for assaulting flight attendant, feds say


A Miami man faces up to 20 years in prison after he admitted Tuesday in federal court to attacking a United Airlines flight attendant last year, prosecutors say.

Cherruy Loghan Sevilla, 24, pleaded guilty in a Virginia courtroom to interfering with a flight crew and assaulting a flight attendant while on board a United Airlines flight from Miami to Washington, D.C.

Sevilla faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on April 21, but actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia said in a news release.

According to court documents, Sevilla was on board United Airlines Flight 2116 flying from Miami International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport on Oct. 4. About an hour into the flight, Sevilla began to exhibit “disruptive and erratic behavior,” investigators say, including wandering around the plane, running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit, and yelling obscenities.

Sevilla also refused to remain seated and lay on the floor in the aisle, preventing a flight attendant from walking to her jump seat to prepare for landing, prosecutors say. Then things took a turn for the worse when Sevilla jumped up and lunged at the flight attendant, grabbing and twisting her right breast.

“A passenger, another flight attendant, and an onboard law enforcement officer attempted to pull the defendant off and subdue him,” prosecutors said. “The defendant resisted and, in the struggle, twisted the arm of the second flight attendant.”