Ex-Wells Fargo VP arrested for allegedly urinating on elderly woman while drunk on flight

He went on the run after the incident.

Zi Shan Kow | January 07, 2023, 07:45 PM

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Shankar Mishra, a Mumbai man who allegedly urinated on another passenger on an Air India flight, was arrested on Jan. 7.

Urinated on elderly woman

The alleged incident took place on a flight from New York to Delhi on Nov. 26, 2022.

Times of India reported that Mishra, who was a vice president with U.S. financial giant Wells Fargo, was accused of urinating on a 70-year-old woman while drunk in business class.

In a letter the woman wrote to Tata Group's chairman, she said:

My clothes, shoes and bag were completely soaked in urine. The stewardess followed me to the seat, verified that it smelled of urine and sprayed disinfectant on my bags and shoes. The bag contained my passport, travel documents and currency, among other items.

On Jan. 6, through his lawyers, Mishra said the woman supposedly did not intend to complain about him, and that her grievance was with getting compensation from the airline, according to the India Times.

He said the two parties reached a settlement. He compensated her Rs 15,000 (S$243) and sent her belongings for cleaning on Nov. 28.

However, the woman's daughter later returned the money on Dec. 19.

Airline was "not proactive"

The woman also said that the airline did not make any attempt to ensure her safety or comfort, and was "not proactive in managing a very sensitive and traumatic situation".

According to NDTV, Air India provided her with a set of airline pyjamas and socks to change into.

However, they did not offer the woman another seat even though others were available. Instead, they offered her the use of a small seat for cabin crew, or her old seat which had been urinated on.

The airline brought the suspect to meet with the woman

Against her wishes, the airline supposedly brought Mishra to meet the woman onboard, reported NDTV.

She was stunned when "he started crying and profusely apologising" in front of her.

He apparently begged her not to lodge a complaint because he is a "family man", and the distressed woman said she "found it difficult to insist on his arrest or to press charges against him".

The airline only filed a police complaint on Jan. 4, 2023.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the conduct of Air India's crew was "unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure".

Mishra evaded arrest

After his name was revealed, the man went on the run.

The Delhi police sent four teams across Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi to trace Mishra but he could not be located, reported The Indian Express.

He turned off his phone but communicated with his friends via social media, which the police used track him down.

The police lodged a case against Mishra on Jan. 4 under Indian Penal Code sections 354 (sexual harassment), 294 (obscene act), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) and section 23 of Aircraft Rules, 1937.

The 34-year-old was eventually arrested in Bangalore and brought to Delhi.

American multinational financial services company Wells Fargo fired the man from his position as vice president of operations in India on Jan. 6 in light of the incident.

In a statement, they wrote that they found these allegations "deeply disturbing".

Top images via LinkedIn and Air India/FB.