Black Smoke Music Worldwide founder Kerry Douglas is speaking out after he claims a JetBlue Airways employee in Houston assaulted him on Aug. 27.
The incident, which occurred around 6:30 a.m., began when Douglas was attempting to pass his suitcase to a baggage handler for his flight to New York. But the employee halted Douglas in the act, saying it was too close to the plane’s departure time for the luggage to go along with it. A verbal altercation ensued between the two and Douglas notified the attendant that the incident was being recorded. According to Douglas, the employee slapped the phone from his hand and ran away. When authorities arrived, the employee admitted that he had hit Douglas.
After lodging a complaint, Douglas has decided to go public about the incident because he believes the airline didn’t take him seriously.
While Douglas filed a police report following the incident, many of the details he provided were missing from the report. In a recent interview with the AFRO, Douglas explained that when he viewed the document, the employee’s confession and the witness responses were not included.
He ended up paying $1,602.40 with another airline for a ticket back to New York. Additionally, he had to pay $542 to replace his broken phone.
Douglas is fresh off the Billboard success of his label’s “I Believe,” performed by James Fortune, which recently reached number one on the gospel charts.
This recent JetBlue incident arrives less than a month after the company came under fire when a flight attendant spewed profanities at passengers.
According to CBS News, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater reprimanded an impatient passenger as she jumped out of her seat after the flight had landed to grab her luggage before the seatbelt sign was turned off. The passenger ignored Slater’s requests and he proceeded to walk in her direction.
Shortly thereafter, he asked her to sit down again and was hit in the head with her falling suitcase. He demanded an apology and she refused. Authorities said Slater then took to the plane’s loud speaker and voiced several expletives, grabbed two beers and escaped out the plane’s emergency slide and ran.
Slater was later arrested at his home. He faces multiple counts of reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass charges. If he convicted, he faces seven years in prison.