Delta passenger arrested for bathroom trip

fajardos at fajardos at
Sat Feb 16 00:38:54 MST 2002

Delta passenger arrested for bathroom trip

The Associated Press
Published 11:53 a.m. PST Monday, Feb. 11, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An airline passenger who allegedly left his seat
to go the bathroom less than 30 minutes before landing became the first
person arrested under a new federal flight regulation adopted for the

Richard Bizarro, 59, could get up to 20 years in prison on charges of
interfering with a flight crew. Bizarro was on a Delta flight from Los
Angeles on Saturday when he allegedly left his seat 25 minutes before
landing, despite two warnings from the captain to the 90 passengers to
stay put as required under the 30-minute rule adopted for Salt Lake City
by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Because of the incident, air marshals aboard the plane ordered all
passengers to put their hands on their heads for the rest of the flight.

Bizarro was jailed overnight and released on his own recognizance

Authorities said a flight attendant instructed Bizarro to return to his
seat immediately after he left the bathroom. She said Bizarro, who is
6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, ignored her orders and stared at her for about
a minute before returning to his seat, according to the FBI. The
incident was seen by two of three undercover air marshals on board, the
FBI said. One of the agents said he saw Bizarro give what appeared to be
a "thumbs up" to another passenger as he returned to his seat, prompting
the marshals to take control of the cabin.

The Salt Lake City rule requiring no passenger movement during the last
30 minutes went into effect Feb. 5. It already had been in effect for
flights to Reagan International Airport in Washington.


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