Maxwell Berry, 22, was arrested on three counts of battery on Saturday
A Frontier passenger who is accused of groping and fighting flight attendants and screaming that his parents were worth $2million won a good role model award for ‘dismantling frat boy stereotypes’ in college just three months ago.
Maxwell Berry, 22, was praised for being the ‘perfect role model’ and balancing academics and a successful golf career during his time at Ohio Wesleyan University, which posted the Zoom awards presentation, which took place in May, online.
He did not appear in person for the virtual presentation – but a snap of Berry smiling and looking smart in a suit appeared on screen. Berry is now best-known for his anguished, gurning howls after being duct-taped on the Philly to Miami Frontier flight, boasts about his family’s supposed wealth, and subsequent shame-faced mugshot.
Berry graduated from the $47,000-a-year university in 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in finance economics and minored in psychology. He led the campus’s Phi Game Delta (Fiji) fraternity and played golf.
On Saturday, he was seen in videos being duct taped to his seat while on a Frontier flight from Philadelphia to Miami after a physical confrontation with a male flight attendant and allegedly grabbing two female flight attendants’ breasts.
He was charged with three misdemeanor counts of battery in Miami-Dade County. The FBI was involved but said they aren’t pursuing felony federal charges.
It’s unclear if his parents are worth the money he claims they are or what their occupations are. They live in a smart two-story home in Norwalk, Ohio, worth around $220,000, according to publicly-available records.
Online records suggest that Berry’s mom Lisa is a teacher, while his father Christopher is listed as being a computer techician.
No-one answered when DailyMail.com called Berry’s home, and it is unknown at this point who Berry’s lawyer is.
School down to watch the school awards presentation.
This is the moment Max Berry won a good role model award – which saw him lauded for dismantling boorish frat-boy stereotypes – months before his now-infamous plane meltdown
The meltdown began when the 22-year-old Ohio native (pictured) who already had several drinks on the flight, ordered an additional drink
Berry was seen scuffling with a Frontier flight attendant before he was duct taped to a chair while on a flight from Philadelphia to Miami on July 31
Video showed Maxwell Berry repeatedly shouting ‘help me, help’ while wriggling free from the duct tape around his mouth as the plane came into land
It’s unclear what his parents do or if they are worth $2million, but they live in a $220,000 Ohio home, according to records
Cole Hatcher, a spokesman for Ohio Wesleyan University said in a statement that the university ‘is saddened to learn of this situation with one of our graduates.’
‘The case does not involve the university, and the incidents depicted do not reflect Ohio Wesleyan’s values.’
The 22-year-old, who was lauded for ‘standing up and showing a fraternity really means’, allegedly already had three drinks on the flight when he ordered another one.
He spilled his drink on his shirt and went to the bathroom. When he came out shirtless, crew members had to help him get a clean shirt out of his carry-on luggage.
After walking around for 15 minutes, Berry allegedly groped the chests of two female flight attendants.
‘He came up from behind and put his arms around both of them and groped their breast again,’ the police report said.
Police said he then punched a male flight attendant in the face.
Flight attendants union president Sara Nelson released a scathing statement on Tuesday saying this was ‘one of the worst examples’ of unruly passengers they’ve face.
‘A drunk and irate passenger verbally, physically and sexually assaulted multiple members of the crew. When he refused to comply after multiple attempts to de-escalate, the crew was forced to restrain the passenger with the tools available to them onboard. We are supporting the crew,’ Nelson said.
The crew was originally suspended in ‘a knee-jerk reaction to a short video clip that did not show the full incident,’ Nelson said.
Since then, the airline told DailyMail.com that it has reinstated the crew and placed them on paid leave during the investigation, which it said is protocol.
‘Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight. We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved,’ the airline said in an emailed statement to DailyMail.com
Drunk Frontier passenger Maxwell Berry (pictured) allegedly screamed his parents were worth $2million then groped two flight attendants and punched a third before the crew duct taped him to a chair
Alfredo Rivera, who was sitting in a seat behind Berry captured the 22-year-old being unruly and scuffling with a flight attendant trying to subdue him
Frontier restated the accusations, saying ‘the passenger made inappropriate physical contact with two flight attendants and subsequently physically assaulted another flight attendant.’
‘As a result, the passenger needed to be restrained until the flight landed in Miami and law enforcement arrived,’ Frontier Airlines said.
Nelson took to Twitter to amend her statement saying Tuesday evening saying, Frontier is ‘doing the right thing’ by not suspending the crew.
‘Thanks to so many people for supporting the work of Flight Attendants and the incredibly difficult jobs crews are charged with doing right now,’ she tweeted.
Violent incidences like these are becoming more frequent on airplanes and at airports as air travel picks up following the pandemic.
In June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, with about 76 percent of the nearly 3,300 reports involving passengers who refused to wear masks on board their flights.
It has collected $682,000 in penalties since the new regulations went into effect.
While the FAA agency did not track such reports in prior years, a spokesman said it was safe to assume this year’s numbers are the highest ever.
Since announcing a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ against unruly passengers in January, the FAA has publicized potential fines – some topping $30,000 – against more than 80 passengers. That is about three times the full-year average number of cases over the past decade, according to FAA figures.