01:32 - Source: CNN
Man launches into racist rant on plane
CNN —  

A passenger who was filmed racially abusing an elderly woman on a European flight has been identified, UK police have said.

The man launched a furious tirade at 77-year-old Delsie Gayle, threatening to push her from her seat and saying: “Don’t speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow.”

Spanish police are investigating the incident, which took place on a Ryanair flight departing from Barcelona to London’s Stansted Airport on October 19.

On Tuesday, Essex Police said it had “worked to identify both parties involved in this incident.” The force added that it had passed the information to the authorities in Spain.

Gayle’s daughter Carol told UK broadcaster ITV on Tuesday that police had told her that “by Thursday they should be coming to mum for a statement.”

The budget airline was criticized for allowing the man to keep his place on the flight, and moving Gayle to another seat.

The man launched the abuse after Gayle, who has arthritis, didn’t stand up immediately to allow the man to pass her to his seat, Gayle’s daughter told The Huffington Post.

“I don’t care whether she’s f***ing disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out,” the man can be heard shouting.

“I will carry on as far as I can with this ugly black bastard,” he screamed, also threatening to kick Gayle.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman addressed the incident following a public outcry over the footage.

“The Prime Minister has always been clear that racial abuse is abhorrent,” her spokesman told reporters, declining to comment on the specific case, according to Britain’s Press Association.

“When people are traveling and going about their public life, no one should be subjected to intimidation or any form of abuse,” he added.

Labour member of Parliament Karl Turner added that Ryanair had “failed spectacularly” over the incident, while fellow MP David Lammy called for a boycott of the airline on Twitter.

David Lawrence, the London-based musician who filmed the incident, told CNN on Sunday: “When you watch the footage, you’ll see it starts to unfold where this man starts a torrent of abuse, absolutely disgusting, despicable words thrown at this elderly black woman.”

Lawrence said the captain could have called the police or had the man escorted from the flight.

Gayle feels “very low” following the incident, she told ITV News.

“He pays his fare, I pay mine. So why did he abuse me for that? Because of the color of my skin,” she said. “If I had done that to him, I’m sure they would have called the police.”

Her daughter, who had been with her mother on the flight, added that they had not received an apology from the airline.

CNN’s Nada Bashir and Darran Simon contributed to this report.