Self-Gratifying Passenger Investigated By Joint Terrorism Task Force

This is disgusting.

A passenger on an American Airlines flight from New York to Charlotte is being accused by the FBI of masturbating in mid flight, based on a warrant filed this week in the U.S. Western District of North Carolina.

Arthur David Fischer, 40, of New Orleans is said to have violated laws against obscene/indecent exposure of genitalia and/or engaging in masturbation on an aircraft.

The flight was on Thursday, and charges were filed Monday.

Let’s not get into the particulars of what happened on the flight. Really, let’s not get into those. There are two uniquely striking things about this case, however.

  1. If you ever do something like this, your first reaction should be to invoke the Shaggy Defense. It shouldn’t be this:

    [H]e denied masturbating, and claimed he was rubbing his crotch with a wipe because it “smelled bad.”

    Fischer further stated that his genitals might have been exposed at some point because he felt a “breeze on it.”

  2. The case was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

    The affadavit in support of the criminal complaint (.pdf) comes from a Charlotte member of this group whose also a washed up air marshal.

    Talk about dumbing down terror.

If you really want to know what happened, you can read the affadavit of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force officer.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Leaving the Federal Air Marshal Service to become an FBI agent is not “washing out,” it’s a lateral transfer to a muuuuuuuch better organization.

  2. I think the task force officer would have done well to use a different expression than having “hands on experience.”


    nice use of English.
    It would be like your insurance agent saying, “insurances”

  4. No, the Joint Terrorism Task Force wasn’t “set up for this.” But the FBI does have jurisdiction for crimes that take place aboard aircraft. For simplicity, those crimes are often assigned to JTTF, not because they are terrorist crimes but because the people are already assigned anyway and the relatively small numbers of crimes do not warrant the creation of yet another unit.

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