Airline pilots charged with intoxication; One accused of mooning Alcoa Highway traffic


Two airline pilots were arrested after an incident Friday on Alcoa Highway during which one of the men pulled his shorts down and mooned northbound traffic, according to an Alcoa police report.

Officers responded to a call of an intoxicated subject at El Sazon Mexicano Restaurant, 2650 Alcoa Highway, Alcoa, at 6:31 p.m. Officers received information en route that one of the men became irate with the restaurant’s manager after employees refused to serve him more alcoholic drinks, according to the report. The subject also allegedly attempted to start a physical confrontation with management employees.

While approaching the general area, an officer observed Jeffrey Leon Saltis, 43, Pittsburgh, Pa., pulling his shorts down and mooning northbound traffic. Officers also noticed another male subject, later identified as Michael Cody Etzel, 25, Richmond, Va., walking with a female in front of Applebee’s. The female was attempting to take pictures of the male subject showing his buttocks to the public, according to the report.

Saltis told officers he was a pilot with United Express, according to the report.

Bill Mishk, a spokesperson for Trans States Airlines, which is affiliated with United Express, said the company can confirm they received notification that two employees were detained by local authorities Friday. Mishk, however, could not for reasons of confidentiality, identify these employees, he said.

The employees were pilots, and they were moved immediately from flight status, said Mishk. Trans States Airlines is currently investigating the matter, he said.

Officers reported both men had a strong odor of an intoxicant upon their persons.

Saltis told officers he was going back to his hotel, and he became “irate and verbally abusive with officers,” the report states.

Saltis told officers he had an early morning flight, and he hoped the officers were happy because “50 people’s flight would be delayed because of (Officer Dustin Cook, the arresting officer),” according to the report.

“In the interest of public safety, Officer Devore and I contacted United (Express) and airport police to inform them of the situation,” said Cook.

Saltis was charged with public intoxication and indecent exposure. Etzel was charged with public intoxication. Both men were free on bonds pending a 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.