civil aviation

Korean Air passenger in beer fight with flight attendant gets two-year prison sentence

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 4:59pm

A Guam judge has sentenced a Korean Air passenger, who pleaded guilty to fighting with a flight attendant who refused to serve him beer, to two years in jail but gave lawyers until Wednesday to assess whether he could serve it in home confinement instead of behind bars.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Tuesday gave Kwon Woo-sung a three-year sentence but gave him credit for the seven months he already served under house arrest and federal detention, The Pacific Daily News reported.

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Kwon, a South Korean dentist, had pleaded guilty to interfering with flight crew members and attendants on an April flight from Seoul to Guam. He is accused of smoking a cigarette in the plane’s restroom and then fighting with the flight attendant who refused to serve him another beer.

Five passengers helped subdue Kwon and tied him up until the plane landed about an hour later.

Kwon and his mother fell to their knees in court on Monday, crying and pleading with the judge for leniency.

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His lawyers also gave the judge apology letters from Kwon to passengers, flight crew members and the chief executive officer of Korean Air. They had argued that Kwon suffers from anxiety, depression and anger issues. Kwon must also pay a US$10,500 fine, including US$1,000 for smoking in the plane’s restroom. The money will be taken out of Kwon’s US$100,000 cash bail.

Kwon still has the option of withdrawing the guilty plea if he does not accept the court’s sentence.