Russell Miller plead guilty to assaulting a teen sitting across from him on an airplane. According to an article by Patrick Orr, IdahoStatesman.com, “Russell Miller will have to spend two days in jail or do the equivalent amount of community service after pleading guilty February 14th to a misdemeanor charge of battery for a Dec. 28 incident that made him an Internet sensation. That’s the day Boise police say Miller hit the arm of a 15-year boy sitting across the aisle on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Boise-because the boy didn’t turn his cell phone off during takeoff.”
Miller’s plane punch became national news, being discussed on CNN and MSNBC. Miller told the judge that media reports that he punched the teen were false. Miller says he was seat belted in and the teen was across the aisle from him. He says he tapped the boy on the arm to tell him to shut off his cell phone during takeoff. The police report indicates there was a mark on the teen’s arm, but Miller contends that 2 flight attendants examined the boy after Miller tapped him and found no mark. However, Miller admitted striking the teen on the arm and since that was charged as a crime, he plead guilty of that.
February 14th, 4th District Magistrate George Hicks sentenced Miller to a fine of $287 and 60 days in jail. Miller’s sentence was adjusted with 57 days suspended and credit for 1 day time served. Miller said he thought the sentence was fair and that he felt he was treated fairly by the Boise Police Department. He claimed he only wanted the teen to obey the rules and shut off his cell phone. Miller said “I’m old school. You abide by the rules. They have them for a reason.”
Do you turn off your cell phone during flights? Are you one of those who waits until the flight attendant makes you turn off your cell phone, or do you comply as soon as you are seated? Did you know that you can set your cell phone to “airplane mode” and it will turn off the signal but not the phone? In fact, if you are in a bad signal location, you can save your battery by putting your phone in airplane mode until you get to a better area. See my blog Extend Your Cell Phone Battery Charge.
What do you think about Mr. Miller assaulting a teen? Was it really assault? Do you think he was out of line? Should Russell Miller have left the discipline of the teen to the flight attendant? Was he just being a curmudgeon?
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