Low-cost American airline JetBlue is receiving sharp criticism for continuing to refuse to hire persons unwilling to take the experimental COVID-19 vaccinations while bringing a pilot convicted of a violent felony onto its workforce.
John C. Perrys was hired this summer by the airline, with a listing on an internal company web page as a “Pilot Trainee” with a hire date of July 20, 2022.
That hiring has infuriated many of his co-workers, and with good reason.
In 2005, Perry was a U.S. Air Force pilot. That year, he broke into the home of a Panama City, Florida, judge and attacked the judge’s stepdaughter, his ex-fiancé. Reports from the time of the crime indicated that Perrys forced his way into the private residence of Gulf County Judge Fred Witten and assaulted Carolyn Lister.
Lister testified in court that Perrys beat her with a metal baton as she stepped out of a shower inside the home. She also indicated Perrys was armed with a Taser but did not use it on her.
Lister testified that she was able to escape from Perrys and fled the home, running bleeding and naked to safety at a neighbor’s house.
When Perrys was later arrested, police discovered he was wearing a bulletproof vest and his vehicle contained “several knives, handcuffs, a spool of parachute cord, a shovel, gloves, glass cutters, keys to Lister’s home, pepper spray and a mask.”
Perrys was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in Florida state prison to be followed by 30 years of supervised probation. He was released from incarceration in 2014, at which time he took a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
@JetBlue one of your pilots, John Perrys served 9 yrs for burglary and assault. Perrys entered the home of a judge&beat his daughter.when arrested, he had on a bulletproof vest and in his car were kniveshandcuffs¶chute cord&shovel. But,no unvaccinated pilots can work for you?
— Tracy Boutelle (@TracyBoutelle) November 27, 2022
A JetBlue coworker of Perrys told The Daily Wire on condition of anonymity that it appears the airline “won’t hire unvaccinated pilots, but they will hire violent convicted felons to fly their airplanes.” The company’s job applications provide that COVID-19 vaccination is a mandatory requirement for employment.
With regard to the pandemic, the airline says that every decision it has made “throughout the pandemic has been with our safety value front and center.”
Even though the federal vaccine mandate for contractors was never enforced and was finally lifted, JetBlue has continued to date to require vaccination for any applicant to be considered for employment.
Perrys has not found the going with his co-workers to be smooth. One JetBlue employee said the company has been trying to train Perrys to fly the Airbus A320 but several instructors have refused to teach him and a number of flight captains have already told management that they will not fly with him.
Since the beginning of 2022, JetBlue’s stock price has fallen by almost 46%.