Chronology of The Cleveland International Airport Incident Report
Ive had to tell this story so many times but Ill just get right to the point.
Its a bit lengthy but I need to get this out so that others can be aware :(
I go into detail on somethings so If you are easily offended then I sincerely apologize.
On the 19th of June 2012 I, Kiara. had a flight from Cleveland international to Charlotte North Carolina which would have been departing at 4.10pm E.S.T.
I arrived at CLE within a few hours of my scheduled departure at 1.47pm on the 19th.
We boarded the plane 30-40 minutes before departure and I assigned an aisle seat.
It was at this time that an announcement was made that our flight would be delayed because of a mechanical door which was showing open or some other technical glitch that they needed to work on.
We exited the plane and were notified that our plane would be delayed by 40 minutes until this issue was resolved.
While waiting in the waiting area with my carry-on luggage I heard a man calling to me softly from the seats directly across from me. He gave me flattering compliments by telling me I was pretty and beautiful. Taking this as innocent compliments and flirting, I shyly said “Thank you”
After a few moments of silence he motioned to me again and asked me where I was from, where I was going (those typical introductory questions) I told him I was From NY and I was on my way to Kansas City. He told me that He was on his way back to Los Angeles.
After less intervals of silence, the man then asks me for my number. I politely shook my head(no) and told him that Im much too shy. He became more persistent with more questions about getting personal information from me (i.e. my phone number.)
After feeling like this was a bit much I softly nodded my head again and pretended to be on the phone with my boyfriend.
He reached his hand out a few times for me so that he could hold my hand but I didnt want that.
At this point he realized that I was not reciprocating or coming to him so he escalated his plan by getting up and moving over to the same side that I was sitting.
With him sitting 1 seat away from me he now began his flirting again, asking me questions and physically trying to hold my arm at the same time.
I was very shocked that he was doing this , but I was scared if what to say or do to him. I tried to pull away from him and politely tell him no again but he persisted until he finally kissed the back of my hand.
After this I pulled my hand away and he motioned to me to ask me to go with him to the bathroom. I shook my head no and he kept badgering me with lines offering me to go with him to some secluded areas. I remember he told me,” C'mon theres hardly anyone in the terminal here” and “Come on , my flight is leaving in 45 minutes”
I refused each time.
He also told me “Nobody has ever turned me down before”
It was at this particular time that I managed to get on the phone with my friend Tawni and try to explain to her what was going on. I must have been completely incoherent because some of the things I was
saying to her, which probably sounded like disjointed , random thoughts not related to the situation at hand.
**note (Because I had just come from the TSA a few hours prior, I had to have my belt taken off and at this point I hadn’t put it back on yet so my form fitting khaki pants were a bit loose at the waist)
Fearing that this was enough already from him, I got up to go to the ladies room, and as I got up I knocked my bag over which fell directly in front of me. After leaning forward to grab my bag and get my stuff, he pulled my arm, rubbed it, pulled me toward him forcing me to sit back down. This is where the first major signs of my resistance was evident.
My heart was palpitating and I immediately looked around the room for anyone who might be watching what was going on. Only 1 older lady was sitting in the row behind where HE was sitting and I kept looking to see if she would catch my eye.
Before I sat down, He grabbed my dufflebag and sat in the chair next to me and put my bag in his lap.
So I sit down in the chair to gather my belongings because I wasnt going to stand another minute of this when he starts to grope me. Putting his hands around my waist, and trying to get them in the back of my pants to grope my buttox past my.. panties. Which he did.
Grabbed my arm, with me pulling back from him and kissed the back of my hand.
Pulled away, Grabbed it again
Pulled my arm under my dufflebag and made me feel his erection.
*At this time I managed to secretly take a picture of him sitting next to me with my gray dufflebag on his lap* (BELOW PIC)
I finally broke free knowing I needed to get out of there by saying I was going for coffee. I grabbed all my luggage and hastily headed for the womens room and barricaded myself iin one of the stalls. Because my Luggage was bulky, the door didnt close all the way. There was about 1 inch more before the door was completely closed.
It was in the womens room that I was finally able to speak to my friend Tawni without sounding like I was incoherent or babbling randomly. I told her was just happened and she told me that she was going to call security and the police.
While on the phone with Tawni, I was completely startled when that same man forced his way into the stall with me. I was so frozen and so scared, I didn’t know what to do.
If I backed up Id fall over onto the toilet.
If I moved to the left Id be closer to where he was.
The only other movement I had was to the right slightly.
While still on the phone with Tawni, He started groping me, telling me to put the phone down, telling me he wants to kiss me.
I told him “No. Your not supposed to be here” which Tawni heard me say.
She also heard me say to him, “Please, Dont Touch me”
He groped me more
Then leaned in and kissed my forehead as I backed a bit away.
After he … kissed my head her left the ladies room , leaving me pretty much frozen for a while.
I was in the restroom stall for about 20-30mins (what It seemed like)
Tawni was telling me that I need to peek my head outside because the security /police might be looking for me and I need to make myself visible.
After a bit of time, I sheepishly got the nerve to step outside and thats when I saw a cop riding around on a segway. On his return back he saw me and I suppose I was looking a bit disshovelled because he came up to me and I explained to him what exactly transpired there.
He told me his name was officer Fuentes.
He spoke to me and walked me through the terminal that I was accosted and asked If I could describe the man and If I saw him there(which he was not – I believe he already pre-boarded his plane).
I showed the officer the picture that I had taken and he went to the TSA people and flight attendant at that gate.
I believe at this point his sergeant came and there was a bunch of activity near the terminal that I was in.
Apparently they pulled the man off the plane for questioning.
*Officer Fuentes got the mans information and statement *
The officer came back to me and asked if there were any witnesses to me being accosted and I told him about the older lady that was sitting against the far window that might have seen him sitting next to me.
Its at this point that officer Fuentes spoke to her. He also asked me some questions that he apologized for such as “where the attentions that he was giving me... mutual?”
I emphatically told him “NO”
After a few minutes there the officer came back and asked me If I wanted to press charges.
In my confused state, thinking about what just happened (this has never happened to me before as a Transgendered woman), being on the phone with my friend, people telling me what to do, what not to do, struggling with so many things, I fear I made the wrong decision to not press charges.
I believe that after a while, more questioning they eventually let the man go and then left as things calmed down in the terminal.
In the days that followed I realized that in my state, that my decision not to press charges wasnt the best one to make because I wasnt thinking clearly at the time.
I tried calling the police numerous times in the week to speak to officer Fuentes but I kept getting the sergeant who seemed about rude and wanted to get me off of the phone.
He informed me that officer Fuentes tried to call me that day that I first called (but I have no phone records that any calls were received )
After calling a few more times that week, I got the impression that he didnt think that there was anything that I could do . He said they cant extradite the man from Los Angeles to Ohio, and kept asking me “What is it that you think that we can do? You Made a decision not to press charges”
Fearing that I have no more options, I am very saddened that I never got an opportunity to talk to Officer Fuentes because according to his Sergeant, HE is the only one that has this guys information other than the airline that he traveled on.
Here is my record of phone calls that I placed to the precinct in reverse chronological order:
2012 June 27 6:42am CST
2012 June 22 10:07am CST
2012 June 21 7:51pm CST
(I made other calls earlier than that, but I wanst able to get through and only left a message on the answering machine there)
Sorry to Post this on the 4th of July. I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th