We’d heard of the “mile high” club, but we’d always assumed that it involved the plane’s lavatory. Not for Carl Persing and Dawn Sewell. Carl has been convicted, yes, convicted of interfering with flight attendants and crew members after he and his girlfriend were “embracing, kissing and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable.”
According to the FBI indictment, “Persing’s face was pressed to Sewell’s vaginal area” during the September Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Raleigh, N.C. When a flight attendant gave them a second warning, Persing reacted angrily and the couple, both in their early 40s, were arrested when the plane reached its destination.”
You’re laughing now, but Persing isn’t. He’s been convicted of a felony in a jury trial and now faces 20 years in prison, some of which he will likely have to serve.
MSNBC, (who failed to mention the “face pressed in vaginal area” part of the complaint and are now seen by this website as somewhat prudish to say the least) reports that Persing threatened the flight attendant twice after she refused to serve them alcohol.
So how is it that a little “dining at the Y” can equal a possible 20 year prison term? “You can’t make any threatening gesture to an attendant because it does violate the Patriot Act,” explained Slepian [ABC's Airplane Security Expert]. “They don’t want you getting out of your seat except to go the lavatory. The whole idea is to keep control. If you react to the attendant, you’re going to get locked up.”
So once again, we at Consumerist remind you not to get drunk on a plane. And get your head out of her lap….or the terrorists win. —MEGHANN MARCO
California Man May Go to Prison for Kissing on a Plane [ABC News]
Man convicted for mile-high makeout [MSNBC]