Brazilian authorities barred an American tourist from entering the country after he threw water on a baby whose crying annoyed him on the long flight, police said on Thursday.
“I think I overreacted a little,” the American, Ronald Duffy, told Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.
Duffy, who had been planning to spend Carnival with his Brazilian girlfriend in the city of Salvador, was arrested by federal police at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport when the flight from Miami landed on Wednesday.
He was still in custody on Thursday trying to arrange a flight home.
Police said Duffy, 36, from Pennsylvania, appeared to be drunk on the flight. When the baby began to cry, he complained he could not sleep. He then asked for a glass of water and doused the child with it as the shocked parents watched.
The other passengers “nearly lynched him” and applauded when police boarded the aircraft to arrest him, the newspaper said. Police canceled his visa, saying he had an “inconvenient attitude.”
Duffy said he had been taking medicine to sleep.
He tried to board a Varig flight on Thursday morning to return home but ran into problems, a police spokesman said, without elaborating. Tam, the airline that took him to Brazil, had refused to carry him back, a Tam spokesperson said.