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Crime & Courts

Tampa restaurant exec charged with disturbing Key West flight


Published:   |   Updated: July 8, 2013 at 07:34 AM

KEY WEST - The president of the company that owns Tampa-based Green Iguana restaurants was arrested Saturday after authorities said his disruptive behavior scared passengers on a flight to Key West.

Deputies and agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection met the Silver Airways flight at the airport tarmac, where 50-year-old Richard Calderoni was handcuffed and taken into custody as other passengers cheered.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Calderoni was loud and used abusive language on the flight.

Investigators said he refused to turn off his electronic equipment and at one point stretched his legs into the aisle blocking a female flight attendant's path. He allegedly made a sexual gesture when she looked at him.

The pilot told investigators he considered turning the flight around but decided to call law enforcement instead.

According to a 2013 document filed with the Florida Division of Corporations, Calderoni is president of Green Iguana Entertainment Inc. The company owns Green Iguana Bar and Grill, which has five Tampa locations.

Calderoni told authorities he was in sales.

Calderoni was charged with disturbing the peace.

Calderoni could not be reached Sunday and a man who answered the phone at GI Entertainment said he was unaware of the incident and could not comment.

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