Edmond Alexandre, 60, was charged in federal court with
interfering with flight crew members after becoming enraged when
a woman passenger sitting in the seat in front of him reclined
the seat, encroaching on his space.
Officials said he argued with the other passenger, grabbed a
flight attendant by the arm and then was restrained and arrested
by federal air marshals aboard the plane. The incident caused
the American Airlines flight to be diverted to Boston.
Alexandre, who lives in Paris, could be sentenced to as much as
20 years in prison if convicted of one count of interference and
attempted interference with a flight crew, though prosecutors
noted that it is rare for such a severe sentence to be imposed.
It was at least the third such seat squabble to lead to a flight
diversion in recent months. Last month, a Delta Air Lines fight
headed to Florida was diverted after a dispute between
passengers over a reclining seat.
Days before that incident, a United Airlines flight to Denver
from Newark, New Jersey, was diverted over an argument between
passengers over the same issue.
(Reporting by Scott Malone)
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