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Grand Rapids woman pleads guilty to interfering with flight crew on airplane

Grand Rapids woman pleads guilty to interfering with flight crew on airplane

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced this week that Amy Jo-Manshum John, 25, of Grand Rapids, Michigan pleaded guilty before a U.S. Magistrate Judge pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants. John faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years confinement, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release at the time of sentencing.

John admitted at the plea hearing that she flew on Allegiant Airlines Flight #1795 on December 14, 2019 nonstop from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Onboard the flight, John swung her arm twice at a flight attendant to strike her. The assault interfered with and diminished the flight attendant’s ability to perform her duties. John also admitted as relevant conduct that she intimidated three other flight attendants on the same flight by being disruptive, unruly, and disobedient while the flight was in progress.

John had reportedly been drinking prior to her flight and was not served alcohol on the airplane

“I commend the airline crew and airport police for defusing this situation,” U.S. Attorney Birge said. “Unruly and combative passengers pose a danger to everyone onboard a commercial aircraft. Anyone who behaves like Ms. John should consider themselves warned: my office will not hesitate to enforce the law to keep travelers safe and the legal consequences are serious.”

“Safety on board an airplane is important to all who fly,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Field Division. “An abusive passenger acting out against the flight crew is not merely an inconvenience, but a serious threat to the safety of everyone on the flight. This sort of abusive and threatening behavior constitutes a federal crime that will be investigated fully as part of our mission to protect the flying public.”

The FBI and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West prosecuted it.

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