Passenger Arrested For Striking Teen On Flight

December 30, 2010

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An Idaho who man struck a teenage boy for refusing to turn off his iPhone before a Southwest Airlines flight has been arrested on battery charges, police said on Wednesday.

Boise police took 68-year-old Russell Miller into custody when the flight from Las Vegas landed in Boise late Tuesday evening.

Miller became angry when the teen continued to fiddle with his phone, listening to music and playing games, after the flight crew ordered electronic devices switched off before takeoff, police said.

"From what witnesses tell us, the suspect got involved with the juvenile male and hit him, leaving a mark," said Boise Police spokesman Charles McClure.

McClure said the teen did not require medical attention.

The phone fracas comes amid high-profile incidents of turbulence between passengers and flight crews.

In August, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater became an overnight celebrity after a dispute with a passenger prompted him to curse and quit his job over the loudspeaker system.

If convicted of simple battery, Miller, a resident of Boise, could face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a fine of up to USD$1,000.

(Reuters)