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.

Post by:
Filed under: Air travel
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. bobby

    If I turn on my phone on a plane... I just smack myself and save everybody time.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Old Patroon

    As someone who does a fair amount of flying I’m unhappy with what happened. First, the old man should be applauded, not arrested. Second, the punk-ass kid should have been smacked by everybody on the plane, arrested when the plane landed and be prohibited from flying for at least 10 years. Let’s see how he likes ‘going Greyhound”.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Barry

    Good for the old man. People in general are annoying on the cellphone, but if the flight attendant says the phones should be turned off, even the stupidest teen should follow. This man did what many of don't have the guts to.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Topaz

    If the airline crew would have done their job enforcing rules and regulations, this would not have to happen. As far as any teen these days: I'm sure he will receive a new iphone,Wii,ipod,new car etc. Yeah , that will teach him. The parents these days are scary and need to better teach their kids more discipline and respect!!!

    December 29, 2010 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. mannycl

    Some of people are so annoying that they deserved to be smacked more than once to learn some manners. However notice that some of those people can be considered perfectly stupid or mentally challenged, Why should I to put up wioth that behaviour when I'm paying for my trip? It happens everywhere: plains, trains, you name it

    December 29, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. andy

    Kudos to this man, maybe next time the guy will listen!

    December 29, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. kmm

    Airlines need to remind themselves: you don't have a rule unless you intend to enforce it. Allowing people to ignore the rule encourages them to ignore all rules, which ultimately leads to chaos during emergencies. So – IF the rule, for whatever reason, is important enough to HAVE, then it's important enough to enforce. If people know that something will be done, they are more likely to report it instead of acting upon it themselves. (and we don't know what the adult passenger had attempted to do prior to losing his temper). So, if the attendant was aware of the problem, she should have confiscated the phone. If the airlines are not willing to enforce the rule, then it should be changed. What concerns me more than this incident, is that 78% of you are so emotionally uncontrolled that you have become name-calling non-thinkers unable to respond logically or with courtesy to someone who does not agree with you. You either argue that YOU individually have decided that the rule is senseless, so anyone who wants it obeyed is stupid, or YOU individually have decided that anyone who breaks it should be smashed to pieces. Or else it's all a government conspiracy. Whew! No wonder the world is in trouble.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      Airlines are becoming accustomed to ignoring their own rules. For instance take the rules on size and number of "carry ons." Every time I have traveled I have never been able to put my carry on any where near my seat due to the number and size of carry ons brought on by others taking up all the space. Except one time I was carrying a government computer and it could not be very far away from me. The flight attendant had to make someone from 4 rows behind me move his two extra pieces of carry on luggage out of one of the overhead bins fairly close to my seat. Turns out he brought 4 carry ons on board and only one of them would have fit in the device at the gate for measuring them.

      December 29, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. JD

    They should both be arrested.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. ppl r crazy

    Ok first off how the hell are u ppl going to sit there and say oh the teen had no respesct maybe he didnt hear the attendant. what if it would hav been a 7 year old with adhd who was n their own world would it b ok to hit that child too? and there are countless "adults" who do not turn off their phones while on an airplane.. i can see if the teen was deliberately saying screw u im not turning it off but none of u know the whole storyeven so the "old" man should not have struck him! i know damn well if it would have been one of your children u wouldnt have stood for some random person striking your child!

    December 29, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jake

    "misdemeanor battery" so he pays a fine and goes home. He'll be known as a hero and the punk kid as a loser who got his a_ss kicked for being an a_sshole. I hope the punk kid has to show up at court to watch Miller get a slap on his wrist. Then he can watch as Miller is cheered, patted on the back and feted. I'd buy "old man" Miller a beer if I lived near Boise. Hope the punk kid gets laughed at by his peers... getting his a_ss kicked by an old man... when he got home did his mommy kiss it an make it better?

    December 29, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. ppl r crazy

    As far as peace and quiet who ever said his phone wasnt on silent! if you want peace and quiet stay home! it is peoples rights to b able to go to a coffee shop and chat that is pretty much what they r for u want quiet go to a friggen library

    December 29, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      When you write like you text, your level of intelligence and maturity comes into doubt, and most don't even bother attempting to decipher what you are trying to say.

      December 29, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jason

    I would love to have seen a recording on youtube. Oh, wait, I can't because other phones are off because people are following the rules.... I forgot, some people were dropped on their heads as a baby so they don't have to follow the rules 😉

    December 29, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Fred Bartkowski

    Brank had a son that worked on the crew. At the time the son was not real popular either in school or the corn fields.
    He later turned out to be a fine gentleman. A hard worker and good with his money. He got married and bought a house. He was good to his friends.
    Driving from one field to the other with 8 kids in the back of a pick up; a fight started.
    The community bully threw Branks son out of the truck. He tuck and rolled after hitting the pavement then slid to the bottom of the ditch in a cloud of dust.
    He had some rasberries and a pretty good lump on his head but otherwise none the worse for wear.
    He walked through the tall corn untill he met up with the rest of us.
    He never told of course. The man code wouldn't allow it.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. jad

    I'm honestly surprised that we don't see more of this outrage against someone. I sometimes see people talking in a theater while a movie is on and I want to just throw my soda at them!

    December 29, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • SR

      Would passengers be arrested if they verbally harassed/embarrassed//berated the young lad? Sometimes wit will do the trick!!!

      December 29, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Colleen

    Regardless of whether the rule has validity or not - the fact that he didn't turn his cell phone off means that he broke a rule and should be held accountable for those actions, just as much as the old man should be for assaulting someone. It's just that simple.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11