1. Transportation

Tampa businessman arrested after dustup on Key West flight

Tampa businessman Richard Alan Calderoni is accused of being disruptive on the flight.
Tampa businessman Richard Alan Calderoni is accused of being disruptive on the flight.
Published Jul. 8, 2013

KEY WEST — A Tampa business owner was arrested after authorities say his disruptive behavior scared passengers on a flight this weekend to Key West.

Deputies and agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection met the Silver Airways flight Saturday at the Key West airport's tarmac.

Richard Alan Calderoni, 50, who records show is the managing member of GI Entertainment & Restaurant Group, was handcuffed and taken into custody as other passengers cheered. The corporation operates Green Iguana Bar and Grills.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Calderoni was loud and used abusive language on the flight. He refused to turn off his electronic equipment and at one point stretched his legs into the aisle, blocking a female flight attendant's path, the Sheriff's Office said.

He allegedly made a sexual gesture when she looked at him.

The pilot told investigators he considered turning the flight around but decided to call law enforcement instead.

According to its website, the airline is based in Fort Lauderdale and operates more than 200 daily scheduled flights between gateways in Florida; the Bahamas; Georgia; Montana; Ohio; New York; Pennsylvania; Mississippi; Alabama; Washington, D.C.; and West Virginia.

Calderoni, who gave authorities a West Shore Boulevard address, faces a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. Monroe County jail records show he was released Saturday evening after posting $328 bail.

He did not answer calls to his home or mobile phones Sunday.

Staff writer Caitlin Johnston, news researcher Natalie A. Watson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.