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Prosecutors: Lockport man behaved lewdly on flight

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 16, 2017

A Lockport man has been accused of performing a lewd act on a commercial flight.

According to federal prosecutors, a criminal complaint alleges Gerald McErlean, 46, exposed himself and masturbated on a Southwest Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Buffalo on March 8.

Prosecutors said two women, who wanted to block McErlean's behavior from the view of a toddler, called him out, causing him to stop. A flight attendant moved McErlean to the back of the plane after another passenger reported him. 

When the flight landed in Buffalo, NFTA officers arrested McErlean. Prosecutors charged him performing a lewd act aboard an aircraft in violation of Title 49 of the United States Code. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in prison and a $5,000 fine.

McErlean appeared in court Thursday and was released on bail. He's due back for a detention hearing on March 17.