Friday, October 14, 2005

Man Accused of Punching Out Plane Window

A passenger punched out the interior pane of an airplane window on an American West flight from Las Vegas to Florida, authorities said.

Ryan J. Marchione, 24, shattered the inner plastic shield covering the glass window and disconnected its frame about 90 minutes into the flight, according to an FBI affidavit. The outer window was not damaged and the plane did not depressurize, the airline said.

Marchione was arrested when the plane landed Wednesday at Tampa International Airport. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of a charge of damaging or destroying an aircraft while it was operating.

About 90 minutes after the plane departed, Marchione "woke abruptly from his sleep and turned to the passenger seated in 7B ... raised a clenched fist to his shoulder as if he was going to strike the passenger in 7B, then suddenly turned and struck the exterior window," the affidavit said.

"It appears to have come out of nowhere," said Marchione's attorney, Thomas Ostrander. "Perhaps it was some sort of a psychotic episode as a result of drug abuse."

Marchione was released on $25,000 bail to home detention with electronic monitoring.


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