Frenchman Charged with Assault in Inflight Smoking Incident

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As if getting caught smoking in the bathroom wasn't enough, a French passenger compounded his crime by assaulting the flight crew on Delta Airlines flight 83 from Nice to New York last weekend.

A criminal complaint filed in New York says that Franck Lebrun "did knowingly and intentionally assault and intimidate a flight crew member and flight attendant of the aircraft," reports the Australian. Lebrun was charged with assault and interfering with flight personnel.

The 34-year-old French national had been confronted by the crew after they suspected him of smoking in the lavatory.

"When Lebrun was observed walking toward the bathroom, he was again instructed not to smoke,'' the complaint says. "Lebrun appeared intoxicated and smelled of cigarettes and alcohol. Lebrun then approached a female flight crew attendant in an aggressive manner and pushed her away with both hands. When the airline attendant instructed Lebrun not to touch her, Lebrun pushed her away again with both hands.''

A deposition by FBI agent Janet Ambrisco said Lebrun was part of a group en route to Honduras and "was instructed several times to return to his seat'' and that during "the entire encounter with flight crew members, Lebrun was speaking in a confrontational manner using expletives in English and made other comments in French.''

According to Ambrisco's report, Lebrun purchased a one-liter bottle of Baileys Irish Crème liquor and a mini bottle of liquor on the plane. The bottle of Baileys, nearly finished, was found in his carry-on baggage, reports the Smoking Gun.

There were three federal air marshals onboard who eventually intervened and handcuffed Lebrun and placed him in the rear section of the aircraft.

Even that wasn't enough to subdue Lebrun, who "continued to verbally abuse individuals around him, yelling in substance 'I'm French, f*** you!''' the document says. After being arrested Lebrun "became more agitated and flailed his arms and legs, striking one federal air marshals in the right leg with Lebrun's left foot.''

Lebrun was scheduled for a bail hearing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

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