Posted on 10/09/2015

An air marshal was told to leave a plane prior to take-off after he allegedly burst into the cockpit and complained to the pilot that a flight attendant had spilled a drink on him and then laughed in his face.
You talkin’ to me? David Maldonado was ordered off the aircraft by the furious captain after the armed guard said that he was going to lodge a formal complaint about his treatment. This threat incensed the pilot, who allegedly shouted “I didn't serve 21 f-----g years in the military getting shot at so that you can threaten me with a f-----g phone call.”

According to court papers filed in Brooklyn, the pilot said, “Who the f--k do you think you are, threatening me with a phone call?” He then pulled out a military ID and waved it in Maldonado's face. Spilled drinks The court papers said Maldonado boarded the aircraft in August, 2012 with three other marshals. Shortly after they were seated a flight attendant dropped a ray of drinks on him.

The Court was told that following the spill a staff member “responded by laughing sarcastically and walking away without apologizing or offering to clean the spill.” No choice Matters became worse when Maldonado was offered only one dinner choice by the same attendant who dropped the drinks, while his colleagues were allowed three.

“All I have for you is beef,” she is alleged to have said to Maldonado who believes that he was intentionally singled out for poor treatment. Incensed by his perceived ill-treatment, Maldonado, who had been working as an air marshal for six years, approached the cockpit where he was told off by the captain, who is not named in the court papers. Furious, Maldonado stepped outside the aircraft and did follow through on his threat to make an official complaint.

Are you mad? When he tried to get back onto the plane, the pilot is alleged to have stopped him and said, “Are you mad? Because I don't want a mad person with a gun on my plane.” Maldonado says that he denied he was mad and tried to board the plane, but was prevented from doing so by the captain.

The captain then made his own phone call to Maldonado's supervisor and had the air marshall removed from the plane. Suspended Maldonado was suspended for seven days following the incident which occurred in August 2012 and is now suing the Transport Security Administration's (TSA) Mission Operation Center in Washington, D.C. He was placed on 'non-mission' status and had badge and gun taken away from him. Not the first complaint He claims he was demoted because of the incident and his bosses used it against him claiming he had anger management issues and needed counseling. Maldonado says the whole experience was the “most humiliating of his 21-year law enforcement career.” He alleges that his superiors at the TSA had been mistreating him because he had also filed two discrimination complaints in 2007. Maldonado, who is from Puerto Rico, alleged that his white colleagues who had been caught drinking on duty while armed were not treated as harshly as he was. Conclusion Aside from the obvious, there is something wrong with this picture. Even assuming that “the drinks” were not alcoholic – surely air marshals don’t drink on duty? – it’s odd that meals were being served while the plane was presumably still on the ground? (Maldonado stepped outside after the Captain told him off). The airline and captain were not named.