On a Delta Air Lines aircraft from Atlanta to Phoenix, a First Class passenger admitted to being homophobic and calling one of the flight attendants a “queer.”
After being arrested for interfering with a flight attendant, the passenger, Christopher Alexander Morgan, faces up to 20 years in jail.
Morgan allegedly assaulted a flight attendant by punching him with an onboard interphone while seated in seat 1D on Delta flight 2908 to Phoenix last Friday.
Shortly after his arrest, the suspect admitted to authorities that his homophobia may have exacerbated his anger at the flight attendant. Morgan agrees to use a homophobic insult against the flight attendant but denies assault.
According to an FBI document, things got off to a poor start when Morgan refused to put his seat in the upright position and put on his seatbelt for takeoff. Morgan was “uncooperative” and “did not follow their orders,” according to the affidavit.
Morgan was handed an alcoholic drink after takeoff, but when he asked for another, the flight attendant suggested a non-alcoholic beverage.
Morgan called the flight attendant, only identified as H.D., the “f-word” and a “gay,” and tossed an ice glass at him. Morgan allegedly became enraged and swung a glass at the other passenger’s face after a passenger in the row behind interfered.
The flight attendant proceeded into the galley and used an interphone to call the pilots and inform them of the situation, but Morgan followed him into the galley, called the flight attendant a “gay,” and then snatched the interphone handset from him and threw it back at him.
The flight attendant’s chest was allegedly smacked by the handset.
Morgan was taken from the Airbus A330 plane by law authorities and interviewed by FBI agents upon arrival in Phoenix. Morgan “indicated he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating to the flight attendants” during interrogation.
Interfering with a flight crew carries a potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Morgan will be held in custody until his next court appearance on May 3, which has been slated for detention and preliminary hearings.
A Delta representative confirmed that law enforcement had met aircraft 2908 upon arrival. In an emailed statement, the airline said:
“Delta has zero-tolerance for unruly behavior and discrimination at our airports and aboard our aircraft and takes all reports of such behavior seriously, especially when directed at our employees.”