Brit Ryanair passenger injured at Faro Airport after being manhandled by police after row with crew
A Ryanair passenger claimed yesterday that Faro police injured him while dragging him off the plane, following him being “wrongly accused” of punching an air stewardess.
The passenger said he suffered a string of injuries after Portuguese police used “excessive” force to drag him off the plane. Rafik Boutiche, 20, was returning from a music festival in the region with a friend when he claims a female member of staff objected to him moving seats.
Police were called after she accused him of attempting to hit her, something Boutiche vehemently denies. Distressing footage circulated on Twitter and Instagram, showing officers attempting to drag Rafik, with one upset passenger shouting: “You’re hurting him.”
Rafik and friend Islam Fessih, 19, were attempting to return to London Stansted from Faro Airport when the incident occurred.
After being removed from the flight, the pair had to stay another night in Portugal before arranging a flight with another airline. Speaking from his hotel room, a shaken Rafik revealed: “My hand is cut up, it’s burning me at the moment. My ankle has been sprained and my neck is hurting me. We’re just two young lads, we’re not looking for trouble, we just wanted to get back home.”
“I’ve never experienced anything like this, I never thought it was possible to go through what I’ve gone through. It’s made me very emotional.”
The row flared up when Rafik – who was assigned a seat toward the back of the aircraft – attempted to move forward into an empty seat closer to his friend. The pair claimed that others were doing the same thing and crew members didn’t object.
When they were successfully removed from the plane, Islam said, they were taken to a police station within the airport before being released without charge.
Video of the incident can be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Islam768/status/1159113401743872000