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Portofino cook arrested after Charlotte flight has been fired

Pilot takes down passenger who pushed flight attendant

"You don't put your hands on my flight attendant!" Watch as an American Airlines flight crew tackles and restrains a Lexington, Ky., man after a flight to Charlotte. Michael Kerr is accused of intoxication, disruptive behavior and assault.
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"You don't put your hands on my flight attendant!" Watch as an American Airlines flight crew tackles and restrains a Lexington, Ky., man after a flight to Charlotte. Michael Kerr is accused of intoxication, disruptive behavior and assault.

Michael Kerr, the Lexington cook who was arrested last week on charges of attacking the flight crew on a plane in Charlotte, has been fired, Portofino managing partner Robert Carter said.

“Portofino has nothing to do with him anymore. He’s done with my company as far as I’m concerned,” Carter said Friday. “We haven’t heard from him. … I’m guessing he’s embarrassed. He hasn’t contacted us. He asked for a few days off for a trip. And he was supposed to report to work two days later, and he didn’t report to work. He’s done.”

Carter said Kerr, who stated on his Facebook page that he was a chef at Portofino, was an entry-level cook hired in late May. Kerr apparently had worked at Shorty’s, which closed. “He came in, needed a job, and we needed a daytime prep cook,” Carter said.

Video and photos taken by other passengers on the Lexington-to-Charlotte flight show a man becoming impatient to get off the plane after it had landed, and then in handcuffs in the aisle of the cabin.

Kerr had not exhibited similar behavior at work, Carter said. “Absolutely not. We don’t tolerate that at all.”

According to articles in the Charlotte Observer, Kerr, 25, was a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Lexington to Charlotte. According to an FBI affidavit, Kerr was served three whiskeys after takeoff.

As the plane taxied to a gate at Charlotte Douglas International, Kerr ignored flight crew orders and got out of his seat, the affidavit says. When an attendant interceded, Kerr threatened to break her jaw.

The FBI affidavit said it took the pilots and multiple police officers to drag Kerr off the plane after he threatened, shoved, kicked and spat at flight attendants.

Kerr faces charges of being intoxicated and disruptive, assault on a female, communicating threats and interfering with a flight crew or attendant, according to the Observer.

Kerr made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday. He is to return Monday morning for a detention hearing before a U.S. magistrate judge.

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