A 29-year-old man was arrested on Monday for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman and urinating in the aisle of a plane while drunk. Multiple reports out of London have identified the man as European Ryder Cupper Thorbjorn Olesen.
Both The Independent and The Sun say Olesen, 29, was on a British Airways flight from Memphis to London, having just competed in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind. Both news outlets reported that the five-time European Tour winner allegedly molested the woman while she was asleep in first class, then became involved in an argument with other passengers on the flight, causing fellow European tour pro Ian Poulter, who was also on the flight, to intervene.
Olesen has not yet commented on the accusations, and emails to his agent, Rory Flanagan, at Hambric Sports, were not returned.
The Sun reported that it spoke to Poulter’s agent, Paul Dunkley, who said the Englishman went to sleep after attempting to play peacemaker with Olesen and the passengers he had become verbally abusive towards. While Poulter was sleeping, the Dane continued to be a disruption on the flight.
“He [Olesen] started abusing some of the passengers and crew and then made a pass at one of the female passengers before taking a leak in the aisle,” an eyewitness told The Sun, which first reported the incident.
“It was shocking behavior. You would expect it maybe on a budget airline but not in the first-class cabin on BA.”
The papers say Olesen was also verbally abusive toward the cabin crew as they attempted to diffuse the situation. Reports said that police were waiting for Olesen at the flight’s arrival gate, where they eventually arrested him and took him in for questioning. They later confirmed that he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, being drunk onboard an aircraft and failing to comply with the orders of cabin crew. After being taken into custody, he was released under investigation.
A British Airways spokesman said: “Our customers and crews deserve to enjoy their flights, and not to suffer any form of abuse. This sort of behavior will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will always be taken.”
Asked to respond to the reports on Olesen, the European Tour told Golf Digest: “This is an active police matter and therefore we have no comment.”
This post will be updated.