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FindLaw : Charges Against Allegedly Drunk Airline Passenger


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Charges Against an allegedly drunk airline passenger on a United flight from Los Angeles to London

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FindLaw : Charges Against Allegedly Drunk Airline Passenger

  1. 1. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MAINE t:.''t -I / 8: 40 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ) ) v. Magistrate No. ) ) GALINA RUSANOVA ) COMPLAINT The undersigned complainant, being duly sworn, states: I COUNT ONE That on or about April 29, 2009, while aboard an aircraft within the special territorial aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, defendant GALINA RUSANOVA intimidated members of the flight crew of that aircraft so as to interfere with the performance of the duties of the flight crew and so as to lessen the ability of the flight crew to perform their duties; In violation of Title 49, United States Code, Section 46504. COUNT TWO That on or about April 29, 2009, while aboard an aircraft within the special territorial aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, defendant GALINA RUSANOVA did commit simple assault, a misdemeanor; In violation' of Title 18, United States Code, Section 113(a)(5) and Title 49, United States Code, Section 46506(1).
  2. 2. This complaint is based on the attached affidavit, which is incorporated herein by reference. SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this 151 day of May, 2009.
  3. 3. AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT I, James McCarty, being first duly sworn, hereby deposes and states as follows: 1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (quot;FBIquot;) and have been so employed since 1996. The FBI has jurisdiction over offenses tha! occur in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States. 2. I write this affidavit in support of a complaint against GAUNA RUSANOVA alleging a violation Title 49, United States Code, Sections 46504 and 46506( 1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 113(a)(5). I have obtained the information contained in this affidavit from my own investigation and from my discussions with and review of investigative reports and documents prepared by Bangor Police Department Lieutenant Jeff Mallard, Officer Christopher Desmond and Federal Air Marshal Linwood Carmen. STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE 4. At approximately 9:00 p.m. (EST) on April 29, 2009, I received a call from Federal Air Marshal Linwood Carmen, who told me that he had received word that United Airways Flight 934 from Los Angeles International Airport, bound for Heathrow Airport in London, England, was being diverted to the Bangor International Airport (quot;BIAquot;). Federal Air Marshal Carmen said that the flight was being diverted to BIA due to the presence of a violent and unruly passenger on the plane. I proceeded to BIA to investigate further. 5. Upon arrival I learned from Bangor Police Department Lieutenant Jeff Mallard that the passenger, subsequently identified as GAUNA RUSANOVA, had been removed from the plane and was in a nearby ambulance. 6. I boarded the plane and located the captain, Ronald Jones and asked him what had 1
  4. 4. happened. Captain Jones told me that an on board doctor had reported to a member of the flight crew that a passenger (RUSANOVA) was having a life threatening medical emergency, and he made the decision to land the plane. Captain Jones further reported that members of the flight crew told him that RUSANOVA was quot;out of her mindquot; and that she had consumed alcohol, prescription drugs, and liquid soap from the lavatory and that she had been combative with the flight crew. 7. I also spoke with Bangor Police Department Officer Christopher Desmond, who told me that he had interviewed members of the flight crew and passengers and reported the following concerning those interviews: A. Flight crew member Michelle Donoho stated that approximately 3 hours into the flight she observed RUSANOVA having difficulty getting into her seat. RUSANOVA appeared very intoxicated. She also observed RUSANOVA with her feet on her in-flight food tray, which was covered in what appeared to be red wine. RUSANOVA was kicking the seat in front of her. She reported that RUSANOVA asked for more wine when approached, but she was not served, at which time she went to sleep. B. Passengers on the flight also told Officer Desmond that RUSANOVA had awoke and was moving about the cabin bothering various passengers and speaking incoherently. C. Flight crew member Donoho reports that after learning RUSANOVA was being disruptive, she approached RUSANOVA at which time she observed her drink a bottle of liquid soap that she had apparently removed from the bathroom. At this 2
  5. 5. point, flight crew member Donoho attempted to direct RUSANOVA back to her seat, whereupon RUSANOVA began flailing her arms. Concerned that she might be injured, flight attendant Donoho wrapped her arms around RUSANOVA in an attempt to control her and bring her back to the galley area of the plane. After removiJ).g RUSANOVA to the galley area, she became very combative according to flight crew member Donoho. D. Flight crew membyr Qwendolyn Scotton reports that her attention was drawn to the melee and she attempted to assist flight crew member Donoho in controlling RUSANOVA. E. According to both flight crew members Donoho and Scotton, RUSANOVA assumed a fighting stance and threatened to quot;beat them upquot; at which time she attempted to hit them with her fists. RUSANOVA then kicked flight crew member Scotton in the right knee. F. Flight crew member Beverly Heiberg reported that when she attempted to lend assistance in controlling RUSANOVA, RUSANOVA pushed her. G. Passenger Briail Cassmassi reported that when he attempted to help the flight crew restrain RUSANOVA, she punched him in the head. 8. I have reviewed a hand written statement prepared by flight crew member Donoho, in which she reports that at one point while RUSANOVA was in the galley, she fell to the ground and began quot;snapping like a dogquot; and trying to bite flight crew member Donoho's leg. Members of the flight crew were able to get RUSANOVA to her feet and bring her to the flight crew member's seat at the rear of the passenger compartment, where she was handcuffed to her 3
  6. 6. seat. 9. According to Officer Desmond's report, two medical doctors and a nurse were on the flight and sat with RUSANOVA until the plane landed, to monitor her medical condition. 10. Lt. Mallard told me that RUSANOVA had been transported to the Eastern Maine Medical Center for observation, after she was removed from the plane at BIA. I responded to the hospital and spoke with a doctor there who told me that she was attempting to determine what RUSANOVA had consumed and was also making arrangements for a psychological evaluation. The doctor added that RUSANOVA would be detained at the hospital until the psychological evaluation was complete and she would notify me when RUSANOVA was cleared. 11. At approximately 6:00 a.m. on April 30, 2009, I received a call from the doctor and she told me that RUSANOVA was being medically released. At 6:20 a.m., I arrived at the hospital and placed RUSANOVA under arrest and transported her to the Penobscot County Jail. On the way to the jail, RUSANOVA made the following statements in substance: A. She was beginning to recall what had happened on the plane. B. She was very afraid to fly and she usually takes a sleeping pill and several glasses of wine, quot;or the other way around.quot; C. She did not recall fighting, but she did recall that the tall colored flight attendant calling her a quot;little Russian bitch.quot; 12. Hours later, I returned to the Penobscot County Jail where I interviewed RUSANOVA after first advising her of her Miranda rights. She signed an Advise of Rights Form and agreed to speak with me. In substance RUSANOVA told me the following: A. She had an argument with the tall colored flight attendant over seating and the 4
  7. 7. quality of the wine. B. She indicated that she went quot;on and onquot; about the seating and the quality of the red wine, at which time the tall colored flight attendant called her a quot;little Russian bitch.quot; C.She indicated that she did not feel well, but she did not remember anything else. D. She added that what she did was terrible and she feels embarrassed. E. She also added that she had traveled to California to visit a man that she had met over the Internet. She then stated quot;its typical of me, I sometimes do crazy things.quot; F. She said that she took two Zolpiden sleeping pills, two Paroxetin, and two or three bottles of red wine, although she acknowledged she was not suppose to consume alcohol while taking the Paroxetin. I, James McCarty, hereby swear under oath that the information set forth in this affidavit is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, and that I make this oath under pains and penalties of perj ury. Dated: May 1, 2009 SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this 1st day of May, 2009. 5