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Passenger accused of groping attendant, girls

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

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A man was detained following a flight from Charlotte to Costa Rica this week after federal authorities say he groped a flight attendant and two girls.

John Edward Bare, 53, of Gilbert, S.C., is charged with two federal crimes: simple assault against a victim under 16 and interfering with the crew of Flight 1707 on Wednesday.

After ordering several alcoholic drinks, an affidavit says, Bare “began to bother one of the flight attendants with incessant flirting.”

According to the affidavit, he grabbed the flight attendant on the arm in one instance and “when asked by the flight attendant if she could help him, he said ‘I want you.’ ” Later he grabbed her in the thigh area of her leg.

The flight attendant reprimanded Bare, according to the affidavit, and said he would not be served any more drinks.

About an hour before the flight landed, Bare got into an altercation with a female passenger concerning two 14-year-old girls who were sitting in the middle and window seats beside Bare’s.

The girls were visibly upset, the affidavit says, and when Bare left his seat at one point, the female passenger asked the girls what was wrong. “The girls advised her that the man had inappropriately touched them on the thigh, arms and face,” the affidavit says. “When Bare returned, this passenger told him he was not sitting next to these girls again and to sit in her old seat.”

Bare cursed at her, the affidavit says, and the passenger informed the flight attendants of the situation.

Costa Rican authorities met the flight when it landed, conducted a quick investigation and determined they would not let Bare into the country. He returned to Charlotte with two immigration agents.

Bare was being held by federal authorities in Mecklenburg jail on Thursday.

Wootson: 704-358-5046
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