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Police in the UK have identified the racist Ryanair passenger who verbally assaulted his seatmate aboard a plane last week.
The initial incident, which occurred on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona (BCN) to London Stansted (STN), involved an elderly white man shouting racist remarks at 77-year-old Delsie Gayle, who was sitting at the end of his row. “I will carry on as far as I can with this ugly black bastard,” he said to Gayle, in addition to other abusive remarks such as: “Don’t speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow.”
The dispute ended up escalating to the point that the flight crew removed Gayle from her seat to sit next to her daughter. The elderly man, despite urgings from fellow passengers, remained on the plane with the row to himself. Ryanair also neglected to reach out to Gayle or make a public statement until a video of the incident went viral, which prompted widespread backlash for how the airline handled the situation.
The airline has since released a public apology and reported the incident to the Sussex Police, who confirmed on Tuesday they had identified the male passenger.
The Sussex Police have since passed on this information to the Spanish police, who have been leading the investigation since the beginning. Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Asens, tweeted in support of Gayle and stated that “Barcelona is a welcoming and anti-racist city.” Asens has also insisted that the matter will be reported to the public prosecutor to further investigate if the altercation could be a considered a hate crime by law. With the two main parties identified, officials are now looking to track down other witnesses aboard the plane as well as the passenger who recorded the entire ordeal.
Featured image by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images.
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