News and Press Releases

GEORGE E. B. HOLDING

CONTACT: 919/856-4530

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - MAY 3, 2007

MAN FOUND GUILTY OF INTERFERENCE
WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF FLIGHT ATTENDANT’S DUTIES

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that CARL WARREN PERSING, 41, of Long Beach, California, was convicted in federal court today of interference of flight attendants and members, following a three-day jury trial in Wilmington, North Carolina.

PERSING faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release. Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox has scheduled PERSING’s sentencing for August 6, 2007, in Wilmington. PERSING was not detained in federal custody while awaiting sentencing; however, travel via commercial aircraft is limited to Court purposes only and he is not allowed to consume alcohol.

“Flight attendants are critical to safe air travel. Their authority in the air must be respected. This prosecution clearly demonstrates our commitment to this principle,” said United States Attorney George E. B. Holding.

According to the evidence presented at trial, PERSING and a female passenger interfered with the performance of the duties of an aircraft flight attendant, thereby lessening the ability of the attendant to perform his duties, by engaging in overt sexual activity in the cabin of the plane to such an extent that the flight attendant had to direct them to stop. PERSING then threatened a violent confrontation with the flight attendant. The altercation occurred on a Southwest Airlines flight en route from Los Angeles, California to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John Bowler prosecuted the case for the government.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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