Woman livetweets sexual harassment on a plane and puts the pervert on blast

Sometimes the best way to cope with a gross situation is to tweet it out to thousands of strangers on the internet so they can also bask in your personal hell while serving up meme offerings and bits of empathy. This is exactly what the clever Ariana Lenarsky did when she livetweeted being harassed on a plane ride out of Austin, Texas on Saturday night. The young writer quickly took to Twitter after a man sitting in an aisle seat grabbed and stroked her calf as she passed him, and her justified rage needed an outlet through which to take shape.

The lush provisions of in-flight wifi made it possible for Lenarsky to livetweet being trapped on a plane with a man who was apparently a serial pervert. According to flight attendants, Lenarsky wasn’t the only woman to lodge a complaint about the snake on a plane, as another woman said the man attempted to kiss her.

After discussing the issue with the flight attendants and eventually lodging a complaint with the captain, who in turn filed a report with the airline, Lenarsky and the other woman had authorities ready to meet the man at the gate. Once he was greeted by police, the women quickly found out that because the harassment occurred in the air, they would be required to get the FBI involved in order to press charges against the man.

However, Lenarsky was able to snap a photo of the man and detail the flight information, so he is now in the system, as well as the Twitterverse.

The beauty of the internet is the ability to spread information very quickly, which can help when warning others about a perpetrator of harassment. The downside, of course, is dealing with trolls and exhausting comments after the fact.

It sounds like the flight attendants and pilot were helpful, which is the least you can ask for when you’re inside a flying metal cage with a groping stranger.

Even with the support of the airline staff, livetweeting harassment, rather than a funny anecdote or the trauma of sitting next to a creepy doll named Barbara, is no one’s first choice.

Because the legal requirements for pressing charges against harassment and battery on a plane are extensive, neither woman ended up pressing charges, but Lenarsky posted his photo and put him on blast. Perhaps this evidence will help identify him if there are future incidents.

Of course, the real hope is that there will be no future incidents. Godspeed to everyone who’s flown with this man.