Also Faces Potential Lawsuit From Airline
Paul Randall Burns, a 47-year-old
Florida resident, was fined $12,000 Thursday for an incident of air
rage on a Continental Airlines flight earlier this week. Burns
pleaded guilty to one charge of violating the Aeronautics Act for
"endangering the safety and security of an aircraft in flight."
CBC News reports the flight originated in Oslo, Norway and was
destined for Newark, NJ. The plane was forced to make an
unscheduled stop at Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador when Burns
reportedly became uncontrollable.
In court, Burns testified he had not consumed alcoholic
beverages for years, but starting drinking vodka while waiting to
board his flight in Oslo. He then continued to drink vodka during
the flight, until he became unruly and the flight attendants
stopped serving him.
At that point, he became belligerent -- assaulting two
passengers on the flight, including one who was waiting to use the
lavatory. Burns was then restrained by several flight attendants
and passengers, and remained handcuffed to his seat for the
remainder of the flight.
RCMP officers took custody of Burns after the unscheduled
landing. As he was being taken from the airplane, he was still
struggling with officers and was "dragged" from the plane.
Several sources report Burns is now detained in Goose Bay and is
attempting to secure the money needed to pay his fine before he can
be released. If he fails to come up with the cash, Burns would be
forced to serve three months in jail, according to the Happy
Valley/Goose Bay Telegram.
And even that may not be the end of Burns' problems... as
Continental Airlines has considered suing him for the expenses
associated with the forced landing, which could be more than