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Thursday - June 23, 2005

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that JOHN DAVID RIDER, 50, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Wilmington on Wednesday, June 22, 2005, for interfering with and assaulting an airline flight attendant.

According to the two-count indictment: On June 15, 2005, RIDER was a passenger on American Eagle Flight 1566, which was traveling from Logan International Airport [Boston] to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The first count alleges that RIDER interfered with the performance of the duties of a flight attendant through assault and intimidation. The second count alleges that he assaulted a flight attendant by striking, beating, and wounding. If convicted, RIDER could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine, and three years of supervised release on Count One, and six months imprisonment, a $5,000.00 fine, and one year of supervised release on Count Two.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorney Eric D. Goulian is prosecuting the case for the United States.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set.

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