Man Arrested Upon Arriving to Los Angeles Airport over the Weekend
Charged Federally with Interfering with Flight Crew
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 24, 2014|
A man who allegedly assaulted a flight crew member and interfered with a flight crew’s ability to perform their duties on a weekend flight from the Philippines to Los Angeles was arrested and charged federally, announced Andrė Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles, and Bill L. Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Edgar Nafarrette Nonga, 53, of Lakewood, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles this afternoon. Nonga is charged with interference with a flight crew, a violation of Section 46504 of Title 49 of the United States Code.
Nonga was a passenger on Philippine Airlines Flight 112 from Manila to Los Angeles, which arrived Sunday morning. Officers with the Los Angeles Airport Police officers and FBI agents responded to the aircraft after the flight’s captain alerted officials at LAX to the incident.
The complaint alleges that, during the flight, Nonga was described by flight crew members as irate and intoxicated after he was refused additional alcoholic beverages. Nonga used profanity when making demands of the flight crew and was issued several warnings, according to the complaint. On two occasions during the flight, Nonga is alleged to have punched a flight attendant, including in the face and upper torso, among other activity that distracted the flight crew in the performance of their duties. Following the second alleged assault, Nonga was restrained and placed in flex cuffs by the flight crew, with the assistance of at least five fellow passengers, according to the complaint.
Nonga had an initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge in U.S. District Court this afternoon and was granted bail in the amount of $10,000.
If convicted of the charge of interfering with a flight crew, Nonga faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
This case is being investigated by agents with the FBI, who were assisted by officers with the Los Angeles Airport Police and agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Last month, a 28-year-old man, Arash Durrani, was sentenced to one-year in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to interference with a flight crew, admitting he assaulted flight crew members and passengers on a flight from Chicago to Orange County, California.