Californian Fined $5,000 for ‘Air Rage’ — (Los Angeles Times)

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The Los Angeles Times|ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 19, 2000

CALGARY, Canada — A Santa Monica man was fined $5,000 this month for an air rage incident that forced an airliner to land in Calgary during a flight from Britain to the U.S.

Albert Roche, 44, a former Los Angeles firefighter, pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance and mischief on an international flight. He had flown into a rage Nov. 2 when his alcohol service was cut off by a flight attendant.

The Virgin Atlantic Airbus A-340, en route to Los Angeles from England, was diverted when Roche swore and threatened the flight crew and passengers. The crew restrained him, and when Calgary police boarded the plane to make an arrest, Roche was already handcuffed.

Roche’s lawyer told the court that his client had been returning from a funeral in England and was taking an antidepressant.

Police estimated the diversion he caused would cost the airline at least $15,000 for lost connections, extra fuel and hotels for passengers.