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HMc
05-10-2007, 12:11 AM
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=8ffa8f4f-a0a8-429d-b5b2-7656f0d35663

Amorous Boyfriend Facing Prison For Inflight Incident

Mon, 07 May '07
PDA A Little Too Public; Allegedly Threatened FA

Take some "embracing, kissing, and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable" with girlfriend, add in two threats to a flight attendant, don't mix in any alcohol (to the consternation of the couple)... and you, too, may find yourself convicted of interfering with a flight attendant, a charge carrying a prison sentence of up to 20 years, just like California's Carl Warren Persing.

Persing was convicted last week of interfering with a flight attendant based on incidents aboard a Southwest Airlines flight last September from Los Angeles to Raleigh, NC, with a stop in Phoenix, reported the Daily Breeze.

The case was based on two mid-flight encounters -- a public display of affection involving Persing and his live-in girlfriend, Dawn Sewell, while in their seats, and the other between him and a flight attendant who told them to conduct themselves appropriately.

Persing's attorneys argued that what the flight attendant perceived as "overt sexual activity" was really just a tired man laying his head in his girlfriend's lap. They acknowledge that Persing and the flight attendant exchanged words but questioned whether it was sufficient to interfere with the flight.

A federal judge is scheduled to sentence Persing in August. Persing's attorney Bill Peregoy said he is certain there will be an appeal.

Persing's conviction is just the latest example of how, following 9/11 and the institution of new security regulations, many airlines have become increasingly alert to minor infractions. Passengers, for the most part, realize they need to be on their best "airline behavior," reports ABC News.

"As a potential act of terrorism, it's being a little oversensitive," Charles Slepian, an aviation security expert at the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center, said about Persing's case. "After all, the mile-high club has been around for at least 50 years. But flight crews are sensitive that some passengers get upset when others get cozy, and that could erupt into an altercation."

There are other cases of behavior that ended in an individual(s) being taken off of a flight. Emily Gillette was kicked off her Delta flight for breast feeding, as ANN had reported.

Many travelers, however, already follow the rules; the number of unruly passengers who have been penalized by the FAA for trying to "assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember" has dropped dramatically the last two years and is on track to hit a record low. In 2004, the FAA recorded 304 enforcement actions. Through September of 2006, there were only 79 actions.

Back to the amorous and threatening Persing: "It (what he did) was clearly bad behavior," Peregoy acknowledged. But, he added, "Where does normal guy talk stop and felonious communications begin?"

According to documents, the couple first attracted the attention of other passengers during a brief stop in Phoenix when Persing began "nuzzling or kissing" Sewell's neck and chest, then pressed his face into her lap, according to an FBI affidavit. Their behavior, it noted, made other passengers uncomfortable.

The flight attendant twice asked the couple to stop. The second time, Persing told him, "I'm going to give you one warning to get out of my face," the affidavit states.

The flight attendant later refused to serve the couple alcohol. The affidavit quotes Persing telling him, "There is going to be a serious confrontation between you and me."

Needless to say, FBI agents were members of the couple's welcoming committee when the flight landed in North Carolina.

A federal grand jury indicted both Persing and Sewell, concluding they had interfered with the flight attendant and "lessen(ed) the ability of the attendant to perform his duties."

The trial began -- and ended -- last week in a North Carolina federal courtroom. Peregoy said that although the judge dismissed the charges against Sewell, she was "scared to death" about the possibility of future prosecution. She refused to testify on her boyfriend's behalf.

Persing's defense was that he wasn't feeling well during the flight and laid his head in his girlfriend's lap to sleep. The flight attendant, his attorneys said, kept waking him up, and he lost his patience.

Jurors took six hours to convict Persing of interfering with the flight attendant after the three-day trial.

His attorney said the jury never considered a crucial question in its deliberations: whether Persing knew that his behavior would interfere with the flight attendant's ability to carry out his duties.

"Mr. Persing," Peregoy said, "was on trial for no other reason than (this): You will do what you're told by aircraft crew, and you will do it with a smile on your face, or (they) will prosecute."

Persing will return to the Raleigh courtroom early August for his sentencing hearing.

Persing, 41, will probably serve jail time for the federal felony conviction, said Assistant US Attorney John Bowler.

Peregoy said he will ask for probation, but expects the judge may hand down "something pretty severe," such as a few years in prison.

Bwana
05-10-2007, 12:19 AM
Yeah.........and?

HMc
05-10-2007, 12:20 AM
ah, its f*cking ridiculous?

el borracho
05-10-2007, 12:21 AM
I don't know if he deserves jail time but he's obviously got issues. "I'm going to give you one warning to get out of my face" and "There is going to be a serious confrontation between you and me" are not acceptable responses when asked to quit monkeying around on a flight. Also, don't try to tell me you're not feeling well if you are making out to a degree that has other passengers complaining to the flight crew.

stlchiefs
05-10-2007, 12:25 AM
I think the felony may be a bit much, but he should have acted better knowing how things are on planes these days. His responses to the attendant are what hurt his situation, if he was smart enough to treat others with respect (especially someone in a semi-authoritative role) he wouldn't have found himself in this trouble.

The charges don't stem from his physical contact on the plane, but with his threats to the attendant.

Bwana
05-10-2007, 12:25 AM
Shit For Brains said: The affidavit quotes Persing telling him, "There is going to be a serious confrontation between you and me."


Not smart on an airline. If you are going to talk shit, and airline IS NOT the palce to do it. The guy sounds like he could be up for a Darwin Award.

keg in kc
05-10-2007, 12:26 AM
Billy Badass needs to learn to either keep his trap shut or treat people with a little respect.

HMc
05-10-2007, 12:29 AM
i agree the guy is a dickhead. But jail time? You guys have been seriously pussified.

Bwana
05-10-2007, 12:31 AM
i agree the guy is a dickhead. But jail time? You guys have been seriously pussified.

ROFL

Um, OK.

Smed1065
05-10-2007, 12:33 AM
Fry him.

Take no chances.


:)

Demonpenz
05-10-2007, 12:34 AM
Tough on crime especially to assholes equals pussified.... pass me some deuche my vulva is getting crusty

Smed1065
05-10-2007, 12:35 AM
i agree the guy is a dickhead. But jail time? You guys have been seriously pussified.

No we are serious about planes now. If you do not learn from history, it will repeat itself.

Maybe paranoid but not pussified yet!

keg in kc
05-10-2007, 12:38 AM
I would tend to think the label of "pussy" needs to go to the guy who gets his jollies by yelling at stewardesses.

the Talking Can
05-10-2007, 12:43 AM
I didn't care much when we gave away habeas corpus, but this is the final straw!

OctoberFart
05-10-2007, 12:49 AM
I think the felony may be a bit much, but he should have acted better knowing how things are on planes these days. His responses to the attendant are what hurt his situation, if he was smart enough to treat others with respect (especially someone in a semi-authoritative role) he wouldn't have found himself in this trouble.

The charges don't stem from his physical contact on the plane, but with his threats to the attendant.

It is a well known fact that assaulting a crewmember or threatening them is a felony. People need to learn that airlines are providing a service like a restaurant and have the right to deny anyone service. They are not required to take anyone anywhere.

ClevelandBronco
05-10-2007, 01:16 AM
It is a well known fact that assaulting a crewmember or threatening them is a felony. People need to learn that airlines are providing a service like a restaurant and have the right to deny anyone service. They are not required to take anyone anywhere.

We need to give airlines the option of letting troubled passengers off any time during the flight.

"I'm sorry you aren't enjoying your flight. Here's your parachute, sir."