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Press Release

Ohio Man Charged with Interfering with Crew on Pittsburgh to Columbus Flight

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH- A resident of University Heights, Ohio, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of interfering with the duties of a flight crew, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

The one-count indictment named Dwight D. Allen, 55, of University Heights, Ohio as the sole defendant. According to the indictment presented to the court, on December 17, 2016, a Delta flight out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was heading to Columbus, Ohio, and the defendant, Dwight D. Allen, interfered with the performance of duties of a flight crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, and lessened the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties, by assaulting and intimidating the flight attendant or flight crew member. The indictment alleges that the defendant disregarded instructions to remain in his seat, attempted to physically force his way to the front galley and cockpit area of the airplane, and had to be physically restrained by attendants and passengers as the plane was returned to the gate due to the defendant’s aggressive behavior.

Arraignment has been set for February 7, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Allegheny County Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 17, 2017