Mon, Mar 21, 2005
Large Man Held Down By Seven
Passengers enroute from
Los Angeles to New York Friday were shocked when William Lee stood
up and "loudly demanded another beer." The situation soon turned
William Lee, age 48, was returning home to New York on American
Airlines flight number Four Friday evening. After his startling
announcement, the flight attendants asked him to wait until they
got to his row. Then, according to airline spokesman Tim Smith, Lee
became "very, very belligerent and loud and disruptive."
Lee was told that they weren't going to serve him any more
alcohol, and was unable to be calmed by an attendant. After he
pushed her aside, seven male passengers restrained the large man,
and helped the crew restrain him with flexible handcuffs. Lee was
put back in his seat, but got out again.
This time, the seven passengers held him down on his back until
the airplane landed. Smith said he had heard that they were part of
a rugby team, but that was unconfirmed.
After landing, Police boarded the plane and began to administer
CPR to Lee, who was "in some kind of distress." He was pronounced
dead after being removed from the flight.
Prosecutors are investigating the death. A similar situation
occurred on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2000 when a 19-year-old
man died after being subdued by passengers. No charges were filed
in that case.
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