Skip to main content

Man charged with assault after India-bound flight diverted back to Toronto

An Air Canada passenger jet is shown landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Jan. 21, 2013. A 47-year-old Alberta man has been charged after an incident on board an Air Canada flight en route to India was diverted back to Toronto early Wednesday morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Canadian Press

Fort McMurray resident Jaskaran Sidhu will have to be creative as he seeks to return home after the terms of his bail were set for allegedly assaulting a flight attendant aboard an Air Canada flight to Delhi early Wednesday morning.

Mr. Sidhu appeared in a Brampton, Ont., courtroom later in the day and was released on $20,000 bail along with a set of conditions, including that he not set foot in Toronto's Pearson Airport or any Air Canada property, inclusive of aircraft.

That could make it difficult for the 47-year-old to make it back to Fort McMurray before his next court appearance on Jan. 25, an irony that his fellow passengers on the flight to Delhi may relish. The alleged outburst on the plane caused the already-delayed Boeing 787-8 to turn back just off the East Coast and land in Toronto on Wednesday morning, only being rescheduled for a noon departure that day.

Story continues below advertisement

Air Canada said the plane was carrying 232 passengers when it first took off from Toronto on Tuesday evening.

The plane had to turn around about two and a half hours into the flight due to an "incident involving a disruptive passenger," a spokesman said.

"A flight attendant sustained injuries requiring medical treatment," said Peter Fitzpatrick. "Police met the aircraft after it landed about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday."

Media reports suggest Mr. Sidhu bit the finger of a male flight attendant.

Peel Regional Police said a man had allegedly assaulted the flight attendant around 12:42 a.m. when the flight was over the Atlantic Ocean, just off the East Coast.

They say the man was "belligerent" at the time, but was arrested without incident when the plane landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

A video taken by a passenger and posted online showed Mr. Sidhu being escorted off the plane by police.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Sidhu was charged with assault causing bodily harm, endangering the safety of an aircraft and two counts of mischief. He is prohibited from consuming alcohol under the terms of his bail.

Mr. Sidhu had no comment as he left the courtroom. His lawyer, Sukhwant Baidwan, said that his client is looking forward to being back with his family in Alberta.

"He is glad to be out," said Mr. Baidwan.

The Delhi-bound aircraft's diversion back to Toronto marked the second delay for passengers on the flight.

Poor weather had prompted Air Canada to postpone the flight earlier on Tuesday, shortly after it made it to the runway.

With a report from The Canadian Press

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Cannabis pro newsletter