Pilot takes down passenger who pushed flight attendant
A Lexington man who pleaded guilty in North Carolina to a federal charge of interfering with the duties of a flight attendant returned to court Monday in Lexington on charges of violating the conditions of his release and bond.
Michael Kerr, 36, appeared in federal court for failing to report new state misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and resisting arrest to a pretrial services officer.
Kerr pleaded guilty in December to interference with the duties of a flight crew member but hasn’t been sentenced. He had been free on a $25,000 bond since August, then was arrested by Lexington police on March 2, and was released on March 17. Court records indicate that Kerr was again arrested Monday, and he wore an orange Fayette County jail jumpsuit to federal court even though he wasn’t listed as an inmate on the jail website.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier, saying that Kerr poses a danger to the community, ruled that Kerr will remain in custody and will be transferred to North Carolina. There, a federal judge will hold a hearing to determine whether Kerr’s federal bond should be revoked.
In late July, Kerr was a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Lexington to Charlotte and was served multiple Jack Daniel’s drinks. The plane landed, and as it taxied to a gate at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Kerr ignored flight crew orders and got out of his seat, according to federal charges.
Kerr refused to comply with a flight attendant’s instruction to remain seated because the aircraft was moving on the runway and tarmac. Remaining combative, he walked toward the front of the plane, cursed the flight crew, then kicked one flight attendant in the right lower leg and shoved her to the ground, according to court documents.
Video and photos taken by other passengers on the 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.
The conditions of his release on bond said Kerr “must not violate any federal, state or local law while on release.” He also was supposed to report any contact with a law enforcement officer to his pretrial services officer. During Monday’s hearing, U.S. probation officer Melissa Markwell said Kerr had violated those bond conditions.
On March 2, Lexington police charged Kerr with domestic assault after he allegedly struck his husband in the head, according to state and federal court records. Kerr also was charged with resisting arrest on March 2 because he struggled with officers as they tried to arrest him for spouse abuse, the report said.
The victim suffered “a large gash on his head,” according to a citation filed in Fayette District Court. The citation said Kerr “jerked away and resisted several orders to place his hand behind his back. Officers had to struggle with the subject in order to get him into cuffs.”
According to Kerr’s federal bond conditions, he “must report as soon as possible, to the pretrial services officer, or supervising officer any contact with any law enforcement personnel, including, but not limited to, any arrest, questioning or traffic stop.”
The violation report said Kerr was released on bond March 17 after the March 2 arrest. “He has not reported his arrest or law enforcement contact to his supervising officer,” a federal violation report said.
“The defendant’s adjustment to pretrial supervision has been poor in the light of new criminal charges and failing to report his arrest to his supervising officer,” the report said.
Kerr was fired as a cook at Portofino restaurant in Lexington in July after the assault of the flight crew was widely reported in the media.