Unruly Southwest passenger faces court
Tue, 25 Oct 2011 14:48:31 GMT —
A man who caused a Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Amarillo last Tuesday has pleaded not guilty to interfering with a flight crew.
Ali Reza Shahsavari, 29, made his not guilty plea in federal court Tuesday.
Amarillo attorney Jeff Blackburn, who is representing Shahsavari, told Pronews 7 that his client "lost it in court today."Pronews 7 Team Coverage Was schizophrenia to blame for emergency landing? Plane makes emergency landing in Amarillo Transportation Security Administration
Blackburn also said that Shahsavari has an imaginary friend named "Jack" who he asked for during Tuesday's hearing. He also shouted the word "Guilty," as the indictment was read and after he pleaded not guilty.
Southwest Airlines Flight 3683 made the emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport last Tuesday. According to the indictment, Shahsavari became disruptive during the flight. The indictment said he intimidated crew members by screaming profanity and damaged the plane's lavatory.
Shahsavari was immediately taken into custody and made his initial court appearance last Thursday and his official arraignment Tuesday.
Blackburn said Shahsavari has schizophrenia and that's why he had a breakdown on the plane.
"This is a poor guy who's extremely mentally ill and had an episode, a breakdown, on an airplane," Blackburn said in an interview last week. "It's really not more complicated than that."