Passenger defends Vikings’ Moss
Reciever was ‘gentleman,’ did not provoke confrontation
CHARLESTON, W. Va., June 14 — A US Airways passenger says Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss did nothing to provoke a confrontation with a flight attendant that led to his removal from the airplane.
“HE WAS A COMPLETE gentleman,” Patty Garcia said Tuesday from her home in Tampa, Fla. “If there was any instigation, it was by her. I’ve never seen anyone get treated the way he did. Ever.”
Garcia’s name was given to The Associated Press by Moss’ agent, Dante diTrapano, who had obtained her name from a witness list compiled by airport security.
Garcia did not know who Moss was when he boarded Flight 1421 for the 35-minute flight from Charleston to Pittsburgh on Monday night.
Moss’ carry on bag was too large to fit under his first-class seat and the overhead compartments were full. He was told he would have to check the bag inside the airport.
Instead, Moss walked to the near-empty back of the plane and removed a few items from the bag, which he placed in an overhead compartment and sat down near Garcia.
Garcia, a Dunbar native, struck up a 10-minute conversation with Moss, who is from Rand and was flying to Miami. Garcia described how a flight attendant approached Moss before the plane had left the gate.
“She comes back there and says, ‘Do you have a problem?’ He says, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘You’re sitting back here talking.’ He said, ‘I’m not showing you any disrespect. I’m sitting back here fine.’
“She must have thought we were speaking about her,” Garcia said. “She got on a power trip.”
The flight attendant summoned the captain, who allegedly cursed at Moss and said he had “better sit back there and shut up or he would ... throw him off the plane,” Garcia said.
Charleston police then were asked to escort Moss from the plane.
“Randy didn’t utter one expletive, didn’t show any disrespect and shouldn’t have been taken off the aircraft,” Garcia said.
US Airways spokesman David Castelveter in Arlington, Va., declined Tuesday to discuss the incident.