A man arrested for causing an inflight disturbance is now facing up to 40 years in prison if found guilty of the airline incident. During the fracas, the man, upset about not being served more alcohol, had ranted about being enslaved by the white man and that Black Lives Matter.
45-year-old James Ariel Pennington was arrested in late December after his flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City. The Los Angeles bound flight had originated in Washington, DC and Pennington had apparently been drinking. After the flight crew refused to serve him any further alcohol, Pennington became incensed.
According to an indictment that was unsealed this week, Pennington. “…knowingly assaulted and intimidated a flight attendant of the aircraft, thereby interfering with the flight attendant and lessening the ability of the flight attendant to perform his duties.” Pennington was also charged with assaulting a Federal Air Marshall.
“Pennington assaulted a Federal Air Marshal while the Federal Air Marshal was engaged in his official duties, causing physical contact with the Federal Air Marshal”Indictment
The incident, which was recounted on this blog, shows a Federal Air Marshall informing the unmasked and irate Pennington that if he stands up again he will spend the rest of the flight in handcuffs. Pennington immediately stands up, and, shocker, spends the rest of the flight in handcuffs.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years each plus a $250,000 fine according to the Oklahoma US Attorney’s Office.
The case is being led by the FBI through their Oklahoma City Field Office in coordination with the Oklahoma City Police Department.