- Google software engineer Faraaz Sareshwala said his wife was assaulted on a Southwest flight to Phoenix.
- In a thread of tweets, he called out Southwest Airlines for not reprimanding the man he said is responsible.
- The Phoenix Police Department handed the case over to the FBI since it occurred in the air.
A California man is accusing a Southwest Airlines passenger of physically and verbally assaulting his wife on a Saturday morning flight from Orlando to Phoenix.
In a series of tweets, Google software engineer Faraaz Sareshwala detailed an encounter in which a man sitting in front of his wife, Saarah, allegedly "violently pushed his seat back" repeatedly in an attempt to physically harm her, while also making several "racial slurs (and) misogynistic comments."
—Faraaz Sareshwala (@fsareshwala) September 25, 2022
According to Sareshwala, Saarah was sleeping with her head on the tray area when she was awoken by the outburst, which was witnessed by her seatmates. Although she was initially unaware of what happened and got up to use the restroom, he wrote that the passengers next to her attempted to confront the man and informed Saarah of the incident upon her return.
Sareshwala wrote that the man reportedly told the seatmates to "fuck off" and said "that bitch got what was coming for her." As drink services began in the cabin, Sareshwala said the man also made comments to a woman sitting next to him that he should resume hitting the seat in an effort to spill Saarah's drink.
After struggling to get help from flight attendants, Saarah and her seatmates began passing notes back and forth to communicate about the issue, he said. Sareshwala shared a note from one particular witness, Gabi, who detailed her account of events.
In his Twitter thread, Sareshwala expressed frustration with Southwest, claiming that though one flight attendants offered to change his wife's seat, they never confronted the man, while another employee only offered to call the police after one of Saarah's seatmates spoke up.
Sareshwala nor Southwest Airlines immediately responded to Insider's request for comment.
Everyone involved was questioned by the Phoenix Police Department, and the case was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation because the incident occurred in the air, according to Sareshwala.
"We don't have an FBI case number but the Phoenix police said that if the FBI thinks there is enough evidence to press charges they will reach back out," Sareshwala said in a tweet.
He went on to highlight the roles race and gender may have played in the alleged incident.
"We still don't know why he became so violent. However, I do know that my wife has never felt so violated, voiceless, and powerless," he wrote. "He used racial slurs and misogynistic comments so I guess it was that she was Indian and a woman (read: not white and not a man)."
The Federal Aviation Administration has a strict zero tolerance for unruly or dangerous behavior on flights. On Wednesday, a man was arrested and banned from American Airlines after being seen punching a flight attendant in the back of the head.