Police: Man attacks teen over cell phone on plane
December 29th, 2010
03:02 AM ET

Police: Man attacks teen over cell phone on plane

A 68-year-old Idaho man has been charged with misdemeanor battery after police say he struck a teen who would not turn off his phone while the plane they were in was taxiing for takeoff.

The incident took place Tuesday evening on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho, said Lt. Kent Lipple of the Boise police.

The man, Russell Miller, was arrested after the plane landed, Lipple said.

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soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. SFGOON

    Enough is ENOUGH!! I have had it with these motherf$%kin cellphones on this motherfuc!<in' plane!

    December 29, 2010 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Claire

    People who cannot deal with other people without violence need to stay out of public places. There will always be someone whether it is a child or a senior citizen who does something someone doesn't like. Physical violence is not the answer.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. East by North

    It's a problem that people of all ages continue to use their handsets for voice and text while the airplane is taxiing and taking off. One guy I saw told two different attendants that he would turn off his handset, but next thing you know he had the bloody thing on, texting away. He even had a little sleight of hand routine where he would hide it in his palm whenever he saw a flight attendant approaching. Obviously not a newbie to this sort of thing. Finally he got busted by a third attendant. Addicted to texting? I think it's possible in this case.

    However a physical confrontation is a no-no on any flight, unless someone is detonating their underwear, shoes, portable music system, toiletries, other improvised explosive device, or an attendant requests help. Other than that, allow the flight attendant to officially slap them upside the head.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. hitting minors is ok? OK

    its amazing how many people on here support the fact that an adult hit a kid for not doing what he's told.

    YOU MUST REALLY HAVE ISSUES WITH TEENAGERS. if your patience is really that low you should never, ever have children. especially the feminist lesbian who wants this child abuser to fly for free for life.. wth?

    what makes it worse is this is not a man related to the teen.. this is a stranger who assualted a minor, and yea he should be BANNED from flying southwest – not rewarded. dude clearly has no restraint or self control. grow the %$@# up people. im not even 30 and im embarressed for how immature the adults posting on this site are.. have you forgotten what being an adult is? shame on you!

    December 29, 2010 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Marian

      At last, someone speaking sense! I am apalled at the number of people who think hitting anybody is okay. The kid was not endangering anybody. Although I too am unhappy with the rudeness of the modern age, I would never presume to smack a stranger. The vigilantism here is absolutely sickening. Go back to your caves, you thugs!

      December 29, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible fool

      Who said this kid is a minor ? ! ? He could be18 or 19 and 6 ft tall !

      December 29, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. 2100

    Political correctness is out the window on this blog-page , , this is the 21 st century-you dont hit/strike a kid/or children , , this is'nt 1957 where every body in the family gets a BEAT-DOWN when DAD comes home from the bar at the end of the day !!! .....

    December 29, 2010 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dhavy

    It doesn't matter if you think the idea of turning off the phone is stupid or if it has nothing to do with avionics, the law is the law and the kid just probably wiped his butt with because he probably has no social skills and depends on a cell phone to survive. Besides, do you really want some idiot sitting next to you to be on the phone the entire flight? If you get bored read something or listen to your mp3, people these days think life as we know it will cease if we are not constantly using a cell phone.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Like you said the law is the law. Remember this the next time you want to go speeding down the road.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    Not too many bright people commenting this morning. If cellphones could really interfere with plane operations to the degree that it would cause a "clear and present" danger to everyone on board, they wouldn't let you bring them on in the first place! Remember, these TSA people are the same folks that forbid a half-empty can of Cola from coming on board!

    Russel Miller, enjoy your stay in county jail where you belong.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. jon

    A teener

    December 29, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. joe

    i'd smack the little phuck too if he had it on.. rules are rules.. grandpa was going what his parents should have done for years..

    December 29, 2010 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. gary

    December 29, 2010 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
    jasdk

    old man that phone wont drop the plane out of the sky get wit the program

    And what facts are you basing this on, or is it your naive thinking that you know everything.

    The real facts are it is uncertain what effects a cell phone can have on the planes navicational equipment, thus the precautionary rule they require to be turn off. Even the Mythbusters TV show proved that there is some effect cell phones have inside a plane

    http://www.tvsquad.com/2006/03/20/mythbusters-cell-phones-on-planes/

    December 29, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
    • larry

      I can drive 100mph and not crash, so am I allowed to drive over the speed limit?
      FAA rule is turn your damn electronic gadgets off! Because a person has information
      that states phones do not interefere does not mean you can break the law.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Awakened

    Old man is a Palin supporter and doesn't know better. He believes talking on a cell phone while taxiing is a "death panel."

    December 29, 2010 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jon O

    The little punk no doubt deserved it but this crap where old people think the world hasn't changed and that no one will punish them because they're elderly is hilarious.

    He broke a law, he could have just as easily told a stewardess and not gone to jail, and he doesn't deserve special treatment just because he's old... he should act with even MORE maturity.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sadiehyde

    Where were the teenager's parents? If they were not on the flight that's one thing, but if they were there, why weren't they encouraging their son to follow the rules? Parents are often too indulgent of their kids today- I've seen 6yr olds open handed slap adults in the face for the nanny not getting them what they want fast enough. Flying is stressful enough without people feeling that rules don't apply to them. I don't think the man should've struck the kid, but I'm sure the lawsuit that will cost the state thousands of dollars will ease the parents of the little darling's suffering. People need to learn to cooperate and work together- it makes life much more pleasant than antagonizing everyone and turning every interaction into a confrontation. Whatever flight attendants get paid, it's not enough. That job must wreak havoc on their immune levels from the cortisol released from stress day in and day out.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. 2 term Obama

    The last time someone did not turn off a cell phone, they turned the plane around on the tarmac and the flight was delayed. This old dude was probably in a hurry for that Tea Bagger convention, or maybe the Birther rally.

    December 29, 2010 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    i love that people take either side even though there isnt enough info to tell who was being stupid.

    besides, this brings into question how insipid the rule is. electronics arent allowed simply because they are distracting and the airline doesnt want to take liability for broken electronics during takeoff or landling. there is no radio interference or anything of the like, considering any cell phone operates in the UHF range and most, if not all, aircraft radios operate in the VHF range.

    December 29, 2010 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      It doesn't matter how insipid the rule is. A rule is a rule and some teenage passenger doesn't have the authority to change it.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
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