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Nation IN BRIEF / NEW JERSEY

'Air Rage' Suspect Claims Self-Defense

March 30, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An airline passenger charged with breaking a Continental Airlines gate agent's neck testified that he only acted in self-defense to keep the agent from punching him.

John Davis Jr., 29, a steel plant supervisor from Fredericksburg, Va., faces up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted in Essex County Superior Court of aggravated assault on the agent, Angelo Sottile, 50, of Kearny, N.J.

Davis said it was Sottile, dealing with a crowd of delayed passengers, who attacked him during the July 22, 1999, scuffle at Newark International Airport. That conflicts with several prosecution witnesses who said an enraged Davis confronted Sottile.

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