North Carolina man gets prison after punching man, groping attendant on flight to Portland

Airplane generic (Source: Pexels)
Airplane generic (Source: Pexels)
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 4:04 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – A North Carolina man was sentenced to federal prison Monday after reportedly punching a passenger on a 2019 flight to Portland.

According to the Oregon District Attorney’s Office, the incident happened Aug. 14, 2019, on a flight from Denver. Passengers on board reported Yuriy Poplauskiy, 40, was seen behaving strangely during the first portion of the flight, with some saying he seemed intoxicated.

The D.A.’s Office said with less than 30 minutes left of the flight, Poplauskiy began peering through a gap in the seats at a man sitting behind him. Poplauskiy then glared at the man and muttered, “when we land, I’ll see you at the airport,” court documents stated.

According to authorities, it was at this point Poplauskiy stood up, called the man a name and punched him in the jaw before running into the bathroom. When he eventually returned from the bathroom, Poplauskiy began initiating a fight with another male passenger and “groped a male flight attendant’s genitals,” the D.A.’s Office said.

Police officers were standing by at PDX when the plane landed and promptly arrested Poplauskiy.

A federal grand jury indicted Poplauskiy with assault by striking while on board an aircraft. He pled guilty to the single charge.

Prior to his plea and sentencing, the D.A.’s Office reported Poplauskiy violated his pre-trial release conditions six times, including two new criminal convictions for unlawfully possessing methamphetamine and eluding arrest in a motor vehicle.

Poplauskiy was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison with one year of supervised release.