After threatening two flight attendants and then urinating in the corner of the airplane galley where food and drink are prepared, Aman has been charged with tampering with flight crew members and attendants.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000 if found guilty.
On a Southwest Airlines trip from Dallas to Burbank, California, the incident occurred last Friday.
Because the flight attendants were so worried about their safety, the Captain diverted the Boeing 737 to Albuquerque, where the suspect was apprehended.
Samson Hardridge, 33, of Lancaster, California, was formally charged in federal court on Wednesday and will be held in jail until at least Friday, when a decision on his prolonged detention will be made.
During a discussion about where he should stand while waiting to use the restroom, prosecutors allege that Hardridge “yelled and threatened” two flight attendants and “infringed upon their personal space.”
Hardridge got up from his assigned seat shortly after takeoff to use the back of the plane’s restroom, according to an affidavit provided to the court by an FBI Special Agent.
Hardridge originally stood in the aft galley while waiting his turn because the lavatory was already occupied.
Because there wasn’t enough place in the galley for Hardridge to stand, one of the flight attendants advised him to wait in the aisle, which enraged him.
Before turning towards the airplane door and peeing in the galley corner, he asked the two female flight attendants if they wanted to view his penis. Hardridge allegedly became “extremely aggressive” and called the flight attendants “stupid bitches” after the flight attendants admonished him.
One of the flight attendants requested Hardridge to wipe up his pee despite their fears of being attacked, but he continued to be aggressive.
Because the flight attendants were concerned that someone onboard might be injured, they phoned the Captain and requested that the flight be diverted.
In recent weeks, the Attorney General has ordered a flurry of federal indictments of rowdy passengers as part of a deliberate effort to combat a surge of disruptive and occasionally violent onboard behavior.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian is still pushing for a national no-fly list of disruptive passengers convicted of a criminal felony.
The idea has been rejected by other US-based airlines but Bastian argues that “holding individuals accountable for criminal behavior shouldn’t be a controversial or partisan issue”.