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Unruly aircraft passenger taped to seat

Some of our Georgia readers may have heard about the recent in-flight debacle that occurred aboard an Icelandic Air flight last week. What many people may not realize about this incident is that interfering with an aircraft crew is actually a federal crime and is punishable by law.

The 46-year-old man was reportedly belligerently drunk upon boarding the flight destined for New York's JFK International Airport last Thursday. According to a fellow passenger, the Iceland native drank a bottle of duty free alcohol in its entirety.

This note of the bottle being "duty free" means that it was not simply a tiny airplane bottle of liquor, but a one liter bottle. On international flights, a person is able to bring one liter of an alcoholic beverage into the aircraft cabin with them for their personal consumption.

One passenger who was seated across the aisle from the man said the drunken man began screaming that they were going to crash and grabbing the women who were sitting next to him. Other witnesses to the incident claim to have seen the man spit on several passengers.

It wasn't until the unruly man began choking a male passenger seated in the same row that a crowd of crew members and passengers from all over the plane restrained him with zip-ties and a gag and taped him into his seat. The man stayed taped into his seat for the remaining four hours of the six hour trek. He was taken by Port Authority police to a nearby hospital when the plane landed and will likely face severe fines and possibly jail time.

Source:, "Icelandic Air passenger taped to his seat, gagged after drunken rampage aboard JFK-bound flight," David Knowles, Jan. 5, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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