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Unruly ‘homophobic’ passenger arrested after alleged assault on flight attendant

A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a flight attendant, called him homophobic slurs and hit him in the chest with a phone, according to an FBI criminal complaint obtained by The Hill.

Christopher Morgan, who was sitting in a first-class seat on a flight from Atlanta to Phoenix, reportedly had several interactions with the unidentified male flight attendant. Morgan, according to the FBI complaint, said his homophobia may have caused his temper to escalate.

The altercation began at the beginning of the flight, when Morgan allegedly refused to fasten his seatbelt.

He was served one alcoholic beverage during the flight. When he asked for a second, he was offered a non-alcoholic beverage, which “angered Morgan,” the report said.

Morgan then allegedly threw a glass of ice at the attendant’s face and began using slurs against him. When another passenger tried to calm Morgan down, he reportedly raised his voice.

A flight attendant tried to inform the pilot of the incident. However, Morgan got up from his seat, grabbed the phone the attendant was using and allegedly hit him in the chest with it.

When the plane arrived at the airport in Phoenix, Morgan was arrested.

When interviewed by the FBI, Morgan denied assaulting the attendant but admitted to using the slurs. Morgan also said he is “homophobic” and expressed being “uncomfortable” with the flight attendant.

Morgan faces up to 20 years in prison for interfering with a flight crew member or attendant’s duties if he is convicted.

“Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior and discrimination at our airports and aboard our aircraft and takes all reports of such behavior seriously, especially when directed at our employees,” a Delta spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our people and our customers.”  

The incident adds to a rash of unruly behavior on airline flights that has raised national concerns about behavior and civility in the nation’s airways.

Updated at 9:27 a.m.

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