May 22 2010
PAKISTANI MUSLIM man gets ONLY 3 months for unruly behavior that disrupted an Air Tran flight and necessitated the scrambling of two F-16 Fighter Jet escorts.
A federal judge in Denver on Friday also ordered Muhammad Abu Tahir, 47, of Glen Allen, Va., to pay $14,584 in restitution to AirTran Airways and be on supervised release for three years. Tahir, originally from Pakistan and now a permanent U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty in March to interfering with a flight crew. He faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he had been convicted at trial. (So why wasn’t he put on trial?)
Tahir was arrested Jan. 8 after the plane flying from Atlanta to San Francisco was diverted to Colorado Springs. He locked himself in a lavatory to shave and then became unruly when he was asked to return to his seat, authorities said.
Tahir went to the restroom and opened the door once to place his shoes and socks outside the lavatory, investigators said. The second time he opened the door, he was shirtless and began to yell at flight attendants ordering him to leave the bathroom, investigators said. When the plane landed, Tahir was still in the washroom, they said.
Two military jets followed the plane to Colorado Springs as a precaution.
Tahir’s arrest came amid growing anxiety over airline security. Weeks earlier, on Christmas Day, a Nigerian man was accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane.
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that there are serious consequences to interfering with the duties of a flight crew,” said David Gaouette, U.S. attorney for Colorado. (SERIOUS? Give me a break) WASHINGTON POST H/T herr OYAL