Thornton man accused of groping Spirit Airlines flight attendant on Las Vegas-Denver flight

Evan Castle faces federal charge

DENVER - A 24-year-old Thornton man has been arrested for groping a Spirit Airlines flight attendant on a Las Vegas-to-Denver flight last week.

The incident happened just before 11 a.m. Friday as Spirit Airlines Flight 562 was preparing to land at Denver International Airport.

Evan Nathaniel Castle admitted having four shots of Tanqueray Gin after the flight took off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and flight attendants said he was yelling profanities, according to an FBI agent's federal criminal complaint supporting Castle's arrest.

"F*** this, f*** that," Castle began screaming, the complaint said.

A 30-year-old female flight attendant told the man to stop using vulgar language and to quiet down.

Castle refused, screaming, "I can say whatever I want." He also told the flight attendant: "You should give me your number. I should date you," according to the complaint.

Next, a 21-year-old flight attendant was walking down the aisle when Castle told her, "You're beautiful," the complaint said. The flight attendant said, "Thank you," and kept walking.

Later in the flight, Castle again talked to the younger flight attendant, saying, "You're f***ing beautiful…Blow off work and come with me," the complaint said.

The flight attendant told the FBI that she ignored the man's comments. Yet, as she walked past him on a final walk-through of the plane before its landing, Castle grabbed her buttocks, saying, "Oh sexy," the complaint said.

The flight attendant told the FBI the incident made her feel "violated and disgusted."

She told another flight attendant that Castle had "grabbed her butt."

Another flight attendant said she heard Castle shout, "Hey, baby, give me your number," at the 21-year-old flight attendant before he grabbed her, the complaint said. The colleague said the flight attendant was crying after she was groped.

An FBI agent met the plane at the gate after it landed at DIA.

Castle told the FBI agent this was his first time flying and he was a married man with children.

He admitted drinking during the flight, saying he was trying to get drunk but didn't get drunk, the complaint said.

Castle said he wasn't being a nuisance. He gave a detailed description of the "more attractive" flight attendant -- saying she was a brunette with long brown hair down her back -- but he added that he never touched her, the complaint said.

Castle was arrested at the airport and spent the weekend in jail. He was charged Monday with abusive sexual contact, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Denver federal court Monday. The judge released Castle on a personal recognizance bond, with the conditions that he cannot drink alcohol or fly on commercial aircraft while his case is pending, Dorschner said.  He is next due in court on May 6 for a preliminary hearing. 

If convicted, Castle faces a maximum sentence of two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.