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Montezuma’s revenge ends in felony charge


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In-flight bathroom emergency leads to felony charge

By BILL RANKIN

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It’s a felony charge brought on by Montezuma’s revenge.

It was 30 minutes after takeoff. Joao Correa had to use the bathroom. Right away.

The last meal the Philips Healthcare marketing manager ate at a restaurant in Honduras wasn’t sitting well. He looked down the single aisle of the Delta 737. A beverage cart blocked his way.

Correa, 43, asked the flight attendant if he could use the lavatory in business class. No, she said.

Correa returned to his seat. He waited for the cart to move. A few minutes passed. Desperation overcame him.

What happened next on the March 28 flight depends on who is talking.

Correa said he ran straight to the business class bathroom. “I had no choice,” he said in a telephone interview.

Correa said flight attendant Stephanie Scott put up her arm and blocked his entry into business class, according to an FBI affidavit. Correa then grabbed her arm to keep his balance.

Scott, however, said Correa stormed up the aisle and insisted to use the bathroom. She said she lightly placed her arm on his shoulder and asked him to move back. Correa then grabbed her right arm, pulled it downward and twisted it, she told an FBI agent.

Correa refused to return to his seat. Scott called the pilot who talked to Correa. The pilot let Correa use the bathroom in business class. Correa did and returned to his seat, where he stayed for the rest of the three-hour flight.

Still, Scott’s statement and corroboration from a witness who was a pilot for another airline gave the FBI probable cause to charge Correa with assault.

After Delta Flight 406 touched down in Atlanta, Correa was told he could not make his connection to his home in Concord, Ohio. He was arrested that Saturday and jailed for two nights. The following Monday, he appeared before a U.S. magistrate in federal court in Atlanta and was granted bond.

Often, Correa said, his job requires him to travel. He was in Central America to conduct sales training in Panama and to visit customers in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. Before March 28, he said, he had never had any trouble on a flight.

“I’m devastated,” said Correa, who has a wife and two children. “I’m so traumatized emotionally. It’s been really, really hard on me. I’ve never had any event with the police in my life.”

Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said flight crews do all they can to ensure the safety and security of passengers.

Delta is cooperating with authorities in the investigation of the incident. The airline also strictly follows Federal Aviation Administration policy, which calls for passengers on international flights to use the lavatory in their seating class, Elliott said.

A preliminary hearing, in which federal prosecutors must lay out their case against Correa, has been scheduled for April 17

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I had Mentezuma's revenge on a flight home from Costa Rica once, i was so sick waiting in line at customs in Atlanta, i was trying my best not to thoow up on anyone. I was sweating like crazy, im surprised they didnt think i was carrying drugs or something... I could barely stand, it was horrible.

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I had Mentezuma's revenge on a flight home from Costa Rica once, i was so sick waiting in line at customs in Atlanta, i was trying my best not to thoow up on anyone. I was sweating like crazy, im surprised they didnt think i was carrying drugs or something... I could barely stand, it was horrible.

You had to eat the food, didn't you?

Or is it "drink the water"?

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This guy handled it poorly, but so did Delta. The no bathroom in first class rule is ****ing stupid. I get that they don't want people congregating near the front of the plane, but people in first class can do that **** too. Assault? Ridiculous. Way to ruin a guy's career.

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Why bother having aviation rules if nobody has to abide by them? I think felony assault is a little extreme, but he should be prosecuted regardless for endangering the safety of the cabin.

I think when a customer is in danger of ####ting on himself, there needs to be a leeway in the rules.

Do YOU want to sit next to the guy who has #### on himself? The pilot was a clear head and let him use the bathroom. The stewardess was a tw##.

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This guy handled it poorly, but so did Delta. The no bathroom in first class rule is ****ing stupid. I get that they don't want people congregating near the front of the plane, but people in first class can do that **** too. Assault? Ridiculous. Way to ruin a guy's career.

He handled it poorly, but everyone knows when you have a #### that won't say no and doesn't want to wait your judgement can get a bit clouded. :P

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I think when a customer is in danger of ####ting on himself, there needs to be a leeway in the rules.

Do YOU want to sit next to the guy who has #### on himself? The pilot was a clear head and let him use the bathroom. The stewardess was a tw##.

If leeway compromises the airline's ability to ensure the safety of all passengers, there should be no leeway.

I am a frequent business traveler and I see this all the time. People making a mad dash to the lavatory before the seat belt sign is turned off, and then copping up a self righteous attitude when told they have to sit down. If you don't like the rules, don't freakin fly. You assume that risk when you step on a plane. Pretty simple if you ask me.

The pilot is also the one in charge of all decisions (usually he's the captain). The stewardess was merely doing her job and in no way deserved to have this guy's hands put on her.

I seriously think this forum has a major problem with authority. Immature if you ask me.

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If leeway compromises the airline's ability to ensure the safety of all passengers, there should be no leeway.

I am a frequent business traveler and I see this all the time. People making a mad dash to the lavatory before the seat belt sign is turned off, and then copping up a self righteous attitude when told they have to sit down. If you don't like the rules, don't freakin fly. You assume that risk when you step on a plane. Pretty simple if you ask me.

The pilot is also the one in charge of all decisions (usually he's the captain). The stewardess was merely doing her job and in no way deserved to have this guy's hands put on her.

I seriously think this forum has a major problem with authority. Immature if you ask me.

And you, like many of your political kin, want to be a cop and make sure every tiny "rule" is laid down with the authority of a Caeser.

Liking or disliking the rules has absolutely NOTHING to do with having an act of nature blow up in your colon.

Are you telling me if you had an explosive diarrhea attack and someone was cleaning the mensroom with a "keep out" sign up you would #### on yourself before you barge in?

The airline also has an obligation to the other passengers who do NOT want to smell a guys feces the whole flight.

Would you feel different if you had the seat next to the guy, o frequent flier ?

And why do you even come to a board looking for maturity and authority?

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And you, like many of your political kin, want to be a cop and make sure every tiny "rule" is laid down with the authority of a Caeser.

Liking or disliking the rules has absolutely NOTHING to do with having an act of nature blow up in your colon.

Are you telling me if you had an explosive diarrhea attack and someone was cleaning the mensroom with a "keep out" sign up you would #### on yourself before you barge in?

The airline also has an obligation to the other passengers who do NOT want to smell a guys feces the whole flight.

Would you feel different if you had the seat next to the guy, o frequent flier ?

And why do you even come to a board looking for maturity and authority?

Ok, so what happens if they let the guy use the lavatory, and upon return, turbulence throws his body into the ceiling of the cabin, breaking his neck, then throws him back down on an entire row of passengers, injuring them? The airline faces a heavy lawsuit as well as federal sanctions for allowing this guy to go to the lavatory during takeoff.

Rules are there for a reason. And the stewardess does not have the authority to trump them. That is the captain's authority, and he is held accountable for any consequences. The stewardess was simply doing her job.

But if you want to lump me with "political kin", I can do the same for your kin who wants to crucify any piece of authority who does their job like they're a bunch of napoleon idiots. Does it make you feel cool to be a rebel and criticize authority at every opportunity?

And I've sat next to the guy that has vomited all over the window. Ridiculous to assume the airline has the obligation to the other passengers to prevent that. It comes with the territory of flying a commercial airline, and sitting within inches of the general public. If you don't like it, drive or take amtrak.

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My point proven. Problems with authority run rampant here.

Yes, Young Mr. Grace...the hoodlum!

Wake up. The guy should have explained his situation, but seriously, what danger did this guy pose to the plane? The FAA rule is hogwash. On domestic flights, there is no rule about economy class using the FC lavatory. The rule only exists on international flights. Why? What risk do international passengers pose that domestic passengers don't?

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Ok, so what happens if they let the guy use the lavatory, and upon return, turbulence throws his body into the ceiling of the cabin, breaking his neck, then throws him back down on an entire row of passengers, injuring them? The airline faces a heavy lawsuit as well as federal sanctions for allowing this guy to go to the lavatory during takeoff.

Rules are there for a reason. And the stewardess does not have the authority to trump them. That is the captain's authority, and he is held accountable for any consequences. The stewardess was simply doing her job.

But if you want to lump me with "political kin", I can do the same for your kin who wants to crucify any piece of authority who does their job like they're a bunch of napoleon idiots. Does it make you feel cool to be a rebel and criticize authority at every opportunity?

And I've sat next to the guy that has vomited all over the window. Ridiculous to assume the airline has the obligation to the other passengers to prevent that. It comes with the territory of flying a commercial airline, and sitting within inches of the general public. If you don't like it, drive or take amtrak.

This occured while drinks were being served. Your argument=FAIL. :)

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