Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tacoma, Washington: Man could face charges after flight tirade

Information from: The Bellingham Herald, 

 BELLINGHAM — A Tacoma man may face charges after an outburst over a reading light on a flight from Honolulu to Bellingham International Airport early Saturday, July 28. 

 Washington State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary and five sheriff’s deputies responded to deal with the man when the plane touched down.

According to Leary:

The Alaska Airlines plane had lifted off from Honolulu while it was still dark out.

A woman on the plane was using an overhead light to read. A 50-year-old man sitting behind her asked if she could off the light so he could sleep, but the reader declined. That set off an argument.

The man, who was travelling with his grown son and daughter, went to the flight attendants and demanded his neighbor turn out the light. The attendants explained the woman could keep it on.

That sent the man into a tirade. He started shouting expletives at people on the plane. He also threatened to be a nuisance to the woman, by hitting the back of her seat again and again.

He didn’t make any explicit threats to hurt anyone or blow the plane up — but he did drop a few F-bombs.

After deputies spoke with him in Bellingham, he was allowed to go home to Tacoma.

“He’s not a flight risk,” Leary said.

His name was not released.

The FBI and federal attorneys will investigate whether the man will face criminal charges for causing a major disruption on the plane. A total of 86 passengers were on the flight.

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