US skier tossed off team over in-flight urination on red-eye from PDX
Friday, August 12, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — An 18-year-old was dismissed from the U.S. Ski Team's development squad after he was accused of getting drunk and then urinating on a fellow passenger aboard a JetBlue flight.
Robert "Sandy" Vietze, of Warren, Vt., was detained by police at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday morning after arriving on a red-eye flight from Portland, Ore.
He faces a federal misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn.
"Based on the information we have, Sandy Vietze is in violation of the USSA code of conduct and team agreement, and has been dismissed from the team," U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Executive Vice President of Athletics Luke Bodensteiner said in an email sent to The Associated Press on Friday.
The AP's attempts to reach Vietze and his parents for comment have been unsuccessful. The phone has been ringing unanswered at the family's home since Thursday, when news of the incident was first reported in the New York Post.
Vietze was nominated to the development team this spring after excelling as an alpine skier at the Green Mountain Valley School, a top ski academy and high school in Waitsfield, Vt., where tuition runs as much as $42,384 per year. He had been scheduled to compete on the national ski team's developmental squad for the 2011-2012 season.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the city's airports, said Vietze caused a disturbance aboard the JetBlue flight when he rose from his seat and urinated in the cabin, and on another passenger.
The Post reported that the splashed flier was a sleeping 11-year-old girl. Port Authority spokeswoman Sara Beth Joren said the agency's police department couldn't confirm the passenger's age or gender.
The Port Authority initially told the AP and other news outlets Thursday that federal prosecutors had decided to drop the indecent exposure charge, but a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office, Robert Nardoza, said Friday that the case is still pending.