When a teen aboard a Southwest Airlines flight on the tarmac in Las Vegas failed to turn off his cell phone prior to take off, a 68 year old Boise man allegedly took matters into his own hands, reached across the aisle and either punched of tapped the kid on the shoulder.
The vigilant (vigilante) act got the attention of the crew at some point. According to Boise Police, the pilot notified his operations headquarters of the incident. The Southwest operations department called Boise where coppers were waiting at the gate Tuesday night to investigate.
Russell Earl Miller was charged with a misdemeanor battery and bonded out of the Ada County jail soon after he was booked. He has a January 11 appearance date.
18-7505.INDICTMENT AND TRIAL JURISDICTION. Any offense occurring aboard an aircraft is declared to be a continuing offense from the point of beginning to the point of termination of the flight, and jurisdiction to prosecute a person accused of such an offense shall be in any county of Idaho over which or in which the aircraft is being operated.
The law is clearly intended to cover threats, hijacking, kidnap, etc. While it is unclear at what point the crew became aware of the incident, neither victim or suspect passenger was reseated during the flight. Media reports say the act happened on the ground in Las Vegas.
A Boise PD spokesman told the GUARDIAN, “The courts will sort out the jurisdictional issue,” when questioned about where the alleged crime was committed.
It will be interesting to see if the Boise judge buys the idea of trying a misdemeanor assault that took place in Las Vegas in a Boise court. At least the folks stranded in airports along the Eastern seaboard will have interesting viewing on the CNN TV in the departure lounges.
Based on the Idaho law, Miller could have been charged in any county the flight may have passed over–logically that could mean Elmore, Ada, Owyhee or Twin Falls counties depending on the exact route from Las Vegas.
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