That JetBlue Pilot Who Freaked Out Was Indicted

Troubles keep piling up for the JetBlue pilot who melted down last month. Not only was he suspended, but now he’s been indicted. In a federal court in Texas, he was charged with interfering with a flight crew.

According to CNN, court documents say the pilot “did knowingly and willingly interfere and attempt to interfere with the performance of the duties of a flight crew member and flight attendant.”

Last week, the U.S. attorney’s office suggested the pilot — who was wrestled to the ground by passengers after he started ranting and raving — is possibly mentally incompetent and may not be able to comprehend the charges he faces.

‘Disruptive’ JetBlue pilot indicted, accused of interfering with flight crew [CNN]

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  1. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    I’m surprised they bothered to charge him and/or put him on trial. Didn’t the Empire just pass a law saying if you deemed a terrorist you go directly to Gitmo without a trial?

    • shepd says:

      Empires don’t pass laws, they make decrees, issued by edict, proclaimed from the mouths of babes. :P

      • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

        I stand corrected.

        Until a term for “The 1% of rich folks passing fascist laws” is coined, I’ll just use “empire.” Has a nice ring to it and gets the point across.

        • OSAM says:

          Be careful: your left-of-Marx streak is showing.

          • mackjaz says:

            If you’re not afraid, you should be.

            I get that it’s all theoretical right now, but you could *theoretically* be accused of terrorism and whisked off to a secret prison and held without contact indefinitely.

            You say it’s highly unlikely? True, but for the first time since the Constitution was signed, it is possible.

  2. Hoss says:

    Was he taken to a hospital where blood results can be reviewed?

  3. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    Are they going to charge him the $25 Indictment fee? What about the $5 Confinement fee? At least he can get food and beverages if he has his credit card.

  4. Marlin says:

    If he has a mental issue why go through the whole court thing? Is the air line pushing this, easier to fire him?

    • KyBash says:

      If he’s allowed to voluntarily commit himself for treatment, he could leave at any time.

      If a court commits him for treatment, he has to stay until the doctors say he isn’t a danger to himself or others.

    • Fishnoise says:

      Not sure of the applicable laws on civil confinement, but that seems to be appropriate, not throwing him into the cogs of the criminal justice system. If they’re trying to make an example of him, I think they’ve misread the target audience (mentally ill pilots who have lost their grip on reality).

    • Hoss says:

      He created a very dangerous situation involving innocent people in addition to property (a plane) and possible collateral damage. You want enforcement officers to overlook this on some cursory evaluation of incompetence?

      • mackjaz says:

        It seems to me that he is not a criminal, but mentally unbalanced. He should lose his pilot’s license, perhaps be barred from ever flying on a plane again, and treated for his illness.

  5. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    If he genuinely had a psychotic episode and had to be hauled away in a straight jacket, they shouldn’t waste time and resources on this one. Yanking his pilot’s license, putting him in a padded cell until he is no longer a danger, declaring him incompetent, and taking away any firearms he owns is sufficient. It’s not like another airline will hire him, at least not one that isn’t in a third world country.

    • tbax929 says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      Yeah forget about all that due process stuff and legal protections. Let’s just declare him insane with no court hearing and take away his constitutional rights willy-nilly. That is much better than wasting time with a trial.

      • damageddude says:

        Oh come on. Prosecutors make the decision all the time on whether to charge someone or not (the non-charging initially of George Zimmerman being an example). If he is mentally ill and his illness causes him to not be accountable for his actions why are they indicting him in the first place? Is the pilot fighting confinement in a mental institution?

        My mother had a stroke a few years ago, but in the months before that there were some mini-strokes that went undetected, save for her personality changing. Small changes, not really noticeable, but they were causing her to make unwise decisions (hindsight is 20/20). When I first heard about this pilot I wondered if the same happened to him. A more interesting question is why he was released from the hospital after only a few days. Was he suddenly well again?There is more here than we know.

        • Doubting thomas says:

          Not the same thing, when a prosecutor chooses not to charge someone there is no penalty to that person, when a prosecutor does choose to charge someone then due process begins. Taking away someone’s career, constitutional rights, and taking away his freedom, (all things suggested by Major Tom) can not, and should not be done arbitrarily without “wasting time and resources”. Those time and resources aren’t being wasted, they are being used to preserve the freedom and rights of an American citizen, providing him with the same protections that you and I enjoy

  6. r-nice says:

    I don’t see the point of the indictment. Wasn’t this medical related?

    • KyBash says:

      It has to go through the courts in order for the authorities to make sure he gets treatment.

      A simple competency hearing would only confine him until he’s had x days without a violent episode (where ‘x’ varies from state to state).

      Putting on the whole dog and pony show lets them put him into a hospital until he’s not going to be a danger to himself or others.

  7. FLConsumer says:

    but technically, the pilot is “flight crew”. Difficult to interfere with yourself.

  8. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    For this guy to go off like this, knowing the implications to his crew, passengers, and his career, must be a sign his elevator ain’t making it to the top floor. We obviously don’t know all the facts, but seems like having a trial in criminal court like he’s some guy simply committing a “regular” criminal act is not justice.

  9. Earl Butz says:

    The indictment is kind of an asshole move by the US Attorney’s office; this guy would never be able to fly again regardless.

  10. Mike says:

    Have we, as a nation, become so fearful, that we imprison people for being sick? Then the terrorists have won.

    • minjche says:

      I’d expect that if a pilot had acted in the way he did prior to 9/11 he would have still seen some sort of consequences.

      Just my speculation though.

  11. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Once they get it in the system, I think he’ll have to have an evaluation. I hope they can figure out what is wrong. It may be as simple as a reaction to some kind of innocuous medication, or he could have a serious illness. Whatever it is, I doubt it was a voluntary act. I hope he gets the help he needs.

  12. aaron8301 says:

    I’m surprised everyone is saying that charging this pilot with a crime is too much. So it’s okay to charge a passenger with a crime like this for doing much less, but when it’s the guy in charge of the whole goddamn plane that’s freaking out, we should let him off the hook?

    Sounds a little backwards to me. It’s like a cop committing a crime; of all people, they should know better, and thus should face at least as much punishment as a regular citizen.

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      It’s not too much. There’s evidence that he committed a crime. He should be charged.

      They’ll figure out in court whether he is mentally competent or not, or if medication played a factor.