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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Jury convicts unruly passenger

July 29, 2009|Paloma Esquivel

An unruly airline passenger who was duct-taped to his seat by flight attendants during an international flight has been convicted of interfering with a flight crew.

James Allen Cameron, 50, of Anaheim was convicted Monday for disruptive behavior during an April 23, 2008, United Airlines flight from Hong Kong to LAX. He was also charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting an off-duty pilot during the flight, but the federal jury deadlocked on that count.

Prosecutors said Cameron had been drinking and was so belligerent and verbally abusive that crew members, a passenger and an off-duty pilot restrained his hands with plastic handcuffs. Still, prosecutors said, Cameron managed to punch a flight attendant on the chin. The crew then held Cameron down and duct-taped his legs and chest, prosecutors said. Cameron was again able to get loose, and the crew eventually used several seat belt extensions and metal handcuffs to restrain him.

The maximum prison sentence for interference with a flight crew is 20 years, but when all the circumstances are taken into consideration Cameron is likely get a far lower sentence, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Priya Sopori.

-- Paloma Esquivel

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