A Jetstar passenger who was tasered by police for not sitting in the correct seat says he received “consent” from another customer to move with his wife and one-year-old son. `
Bolic Bet Malou, 30, had been accommodated on flight JQ977 from Perth to Melbourne on Saturday when a flight attendant asked if she could move to her assigned seat.
The father told the flight attendant that he and the man sitting in his assigned seat had agreed to swap places.
The situation quickly escalated after staff demanded that Malou move out. Her refusal to do so led to several Australian Federal Police officers storming the plane.
Shocking footage then shows the father dragged from his seat and shot in front of shocked passengers as his wife screams: ‘What are you doing? You are hurting him!
Malou was charged with disturbing the peace, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a public official after allegedly committing abuse on the flight.
The father told the Today Show on Wednesday that he had specifically asked the passenger if he could move out and thought the issue had been resolved.
Bolic Bet Malou, 30, received an electric shock and was escorted from a Jetstar flight from Perth to Melbourne on Sunday night after he refused to move away from his family to his assigned seat.
‘(The man) told the crewman ‘Okay, we’re all going to the same place.’ She asked him ‘Are you sure?’ and the man said yes, so she left,” Malou explained.
‘He came back again and said, ‘Can you move, please?’ I told him: ‘We already solved the problem, the guy said that he was fine and he gave me his consent.’
“She told me I had to go and I said, ‘Ma’am, I haven’t done anything wrong, I don’t have to go, I just want to sit here with my family.'”
Presenter Karl Stefanovic asked Mr. Malou: “At that time, why didn’t you move?”
“I thought I was sitting in the right seat,” he replied.
We were already on the wrong plane and all the seats had been shuffled. When he told me that he was not (in the correct seat) I asked for his consent.’
Jordan Vendy, who witnessed the violent fight on the Jetstar flight, said Malou was being “pretty reasonable” with Jetstar staff before the situation escalated.
Australian Federal Police officers were called to the tarmac following reports of a “disorderly and aggressive passenger” after Mr Malou told airline staff he was unwilling to change seats.
“He explained that no one had any problems with the seating configuration as it was,” he said.
“Mr. Malou himself and everyone around him was happy with the situation and the place where they had sat, so I didn’t realize what the problem was.
‘It appears to have been scaled for no other reason than a change of seats. I think it was totally blown out of proportion for something so small.
Footage from inside the plane shows police officers storming the cabin and forcibly removing Mr. Malou before using a taser in an attempt to subdue him.
Footage shows officers storming the plane and attempting to forcibly remove Malou before he is tasered as his wife is heard yelling: ‘What are you doing? You are hurting him!
He was then placed in a headlock and escorted off the plane as he writhed in pain.
‘It happened so fast. Within moments she was spilling out into the aisle, onto my seat and my section. I didn’t see it coming,” Vendy said.
The AFP said they needed to contain Malou after he assaulted an officer.
“Police were required to deploy a Taser to contain and arrest the man,” AFP said in a statement.
“Three AFP agents suffered minor injuries that were later treated.”
Jetstar has thanked other passengers on board for their patience during the arrest.
Bolic Bet Malou (pictured outside court on Monday) was shocked on board a JetStar flight from Perth to Melbourne for refusing to change seats
“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and while the vast majority of our customers behave well, we have zero tolerance for those who don’t,” a spokesperson said.
“Our team called AFP for help when a customer (allegedly) became verbally and physically abusive after he repeatedly refused to follow their instructions to move to their assigned seat.
“After checking the well-being of the remaining customers and crew on board, the flight departed Perth approximately one hour after its scheduled departure time.
“We thank the passengers for their patience while our crew worked with AFP to handle the situation.”
Malou appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to disturbing the peace, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a public office.
He has been issued a no-fly order until the matter is resolved and is not allowed to leave Perth until July 26.