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. sydney620

    Kid deserved it. i wonder if he finally turned his cell phone off after that. Feel bad that the old guy got arrested but you can't go around punching people....but maybe it was worth it.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      While I would be worried if a cell phone could bring down a multimillion dollar airplane and I would suggest the rules are highly unnecessary, because of the rules this gentleman may have had a real belief that this kid was risking their lives. Better to beat the snot out of the little butt hole than to risk losing 100 lives. That is unrealistic, but the airlines put that fear in people.

      December 29, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. walter c. wiyda

    they should have deployed the emergency ramp and threw his ass out.perhaps that would send the message;NO CELL PHONES.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • lewtwo

      Why deploy the ramp? Just open the door and let him bounce off the Tarmac. His head was obviously hard enough to adsorb the impact.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • seriously!

      I couldn't agree more of both of you.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. margaritamix

    why do SOME people think that the laws apply to everyone except them? I bet the kid's parents are the ones I see driving in the HOV lanes while they are alone in their vehicles.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • check they email

      "why do SOME people think that the laws apply to everyone except them"

      Yeah! Like someone that runs around an punches people! Wait....

      December 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. reg

    has no one heard of airplane mode on an iphone? does no one understand that when you have your iphone in airplane mode it is no longer a phone and does not interfere with the airplane? i imagine the kid had his phone in airplane mode, and the old man had no idea about how this newfangled phone thing worked.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ilya

      1.Kid was TALKING on the cell phone, you can't talk on the cell phone if it is in airplane mode.
      2. All electronics are required to be turned off (not put in the airplane mode) during taxiing, take off and landing.

      This FDA regulation is in place because of the interferance of multiple devices with airplane controls.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BigGameJames

    As usual, the old WHITE guy is right. Too many of them out there that think they are right about everything. This headline could have also read: Elderly Gentleman Severely Beaten After Slapping Teen On Plane. If he hit my kid that is. Mind your business and report it to the trained staff that's PAID to handle the situation.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • reg

      as usual the old white guy got it wrong, he should have read up on "airplane mode" and realize that the iphone was not a threat to having a safe flight, but in fact the old white guy was the threat, he could have brought the plane down because of his lack of intelligence

      December 29, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I agree with you on this on James, I would do the same if it were my kid, of course my kid wouldn't have had it on. @ reg, the announcement states "All personnel electronics are to be turned off" airplane mode doesn't turn off the phone, it turns off the wireless. I am 25 and i have seen that there is alot of disrespect with the younger generation, including mine. but to all these people blaming add and adhd, i say your wrong i had adhd and with my medication i excelled in school i was in above average classes and graduated with normal standards.

      December 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy

    If u r asked or required to turn phones off or asked not to have them on, do it! I'm so tired of people acting like rules or laws are for everyone else not them. They are all of us. Quit fussing and obey!

    December 29, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • reg

      as i mentioned earlier, this may be hard for you to understand kathy, but having your iphone in airplane mode does in fact turn off the "phone"

      December 29, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. reg

    this will explain airplane mode to you people who don't have a clue...

    December 29, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • snoop

      Hey reg....what part of "ALL electronic equipment" don't you understand? It has nothing to do with whether the PHONE part is off....the whole thing needed to be turned off. That is the rule....or are you a 15 year old who also knows better and tries to prove it just to show how little understanding you actually have?

      As far as I'm concerned more teens need to be smacked in the head. I am sick of people letting their kids get away with everything...parent your children to follow rules and be decent people and no one will want to smack them.

      December 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      @Reg- I agree completely

      @Snoop- I'm pretty sure you follow all traffic rules, too, right? ... No rolling stops, obeying the speed limit, and slowing at a yellow light, etc.


      People are too focused on the speck in another person's eye to notice that the log of hypocrisy is about to fall on their head.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. slavedriver

    The kida's parents will probably try and sue the aiirlines cause their precious little boy didn't get a participation trophy. The lack of respect that kids have today is beyond belief. Good job old timer.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. checkit

    What *are* the penalties for having a phone on in an airplane? Why doesn't the FAA clearly state the penalty? Create a set of by-laws and enforce them. If you're caught with a cellphone on during a flight, shouldn't the stewards (or the in-flight security personnel) be able to write up a ticket?

    Is there no way to find out from where the signal is coming? "to the passenger in seat 32B, we kindlly request that you turn off your cellular device as it is interfering with the cabin's flight instruments"

    I myself have turned my phone on during a flight – sent a text message. I don't understand the ramifications of my actions, and I never received any kind of punishment for having done it – so it seems if the blind-eye is being turned on me, is it fair for me to assume that the blind-eye is turned on everyone who breaks the no-phone rule?

    If I get caught smoking on the subway, it'll cost me $500
    If I get caught jaywalking, it'll cost me $150
    If I get caught using my cellphone in an airport, it'll cost me ?

    December 29, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      the airline instructions above each seat clearly show when electronic devices can or can't be used .. during flight they usually turn off the "no-use" lights .. but they clearly let u know at take off and landing, the control towers need NO INTERFERING signals!! Simiple. Yes, maybe there should be more "tickets" written up... fines, etc. Might help the cost of air flight a bit.

      December 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. checkit

    er.. not airport, but airplane.. my bad..

    December 29, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Terry Karousos

    Reg as usual the young black guy has got it wrong, the youth today need more discipline, he just did what his parents should have done

    December 29, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • reg

      why discipline the kid? he had his iphone in airplane mode, he was following the rules.

      December 29, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ilya

      reg – again, you have no clue about what you talking.
      Kid was TALKING on the cellphone – it is not possible in airplane mode.
      All electronics are required to be turned off during taxiing, take off and landing.

      December 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Toya

    I don't know what's more entertaining, the Actual story or The Comments Here. GENIUS!!!! What's even funnier is you can tell what age range people are in by the lack of knowledge on Airplane Mode. I luv it!!! O yea about the story If he would have hit my son (that doesn't exist) that would have been the last thing he touched phone or not! Old people have to obey the rules too. This is not 1930 anymore Guy.....

    December 29, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I know about Airplane mode, I STILL turn off my phone. And believe or not im in my mid twenties and probably know more about technology than you do.

      December 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NOLA Saints

    Wow, there are a lot of comments saying it's OK to hit someone else. Didn't your mother teach you to keep your hands to yourself? If a cell phone really interfers with the flight equipment, I don't think phones would be allowed on planes with the battery in the phone.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Ilya

      And how do you remove the battery from iPhone?

      December 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Big Joe

    1 2 3 4 5

    December 29, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    Airplane mode doesn't count, it's much easier to check if the phone is OFF rather than check if it's in AIRPLANE MODE. I do think they're both wrong, but I don't think airplane mode counts as a reason not to turn off your phone.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • reg

      dude who are you to say airplane mode doesn't count? steve jobs makes more money than you, he invented this device that has airplane mode so people like you won't need to hassle people who use his device while flying. steve jobs says it counts, i say it counts, young teen dude says it counts

      December 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • reg

      sorry dude, just postin on a story, didn't know you were policing the boards, you don't like iphones i take it, ok so you're into the droid, hmmm well kewl

      December 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      Yes Airplane mode DOES NOT count. the plane was taxiing for takeoff, ALL electronics must be turned off. The phone can be used in airplane mode later in flight. If the phone is not turned off the plane is supposed to return to the gate. I'm sure the rest of the people would like to miss there take off time.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
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