Don't ask questions "citizen"


J Jones
March 11, 2004, 06:19 PM,2933,113858,00.html

Thursday, March 11, 2004

A Chicago-area man got arrested Monday for asking too many questions aboard a commercial flight.

Flying from O'Hare International Airport to Washington, D.C., Jeffrey Samuel Silverman allegedly asked a flight attendant to identify the federal air marshals (search) on board, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The attendant refused, but that apparently didn't satisfy the demanding passenger.

About 45 minutes before the American Airlines flight landed, Silverman allegedly stood up, walked to the front of the cabin and started pointing at passengers, judging each on his or her merits as a potential air marshal.

Silverman ruled out at least one passenger as "too fat" for the job.

Without disclosing his or her identity, a real air marshal had the pilot arrange for cops to be waiting when the plane touched down at Reagan International Airport.

Silverman was charged with interfering with a flight attendant through assault or intimidation and ordered to appear next Monday in federal court.

The FBI found no reason to believe Silverman was drunk. He had his own explanation for his shenanigans.

"I'm just an [expletive]," he allegedly told the FBI. "What can I tell you?"

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March 11, 2004, 06:22 PM
bad move....

rock jock
March 11, 2004, 06:29 PM
Don't ask questions "citizen"
He didn't just "ask" questions. He acted in a manner that was considered a violation of a law that existed before the Patriot Act or 9/11.

March 11, 2004, 06:56 PM

March 11, 2004, 07:03 PM
It doesn't say anywhere that the attendant ask this idiot to sit down and shut up.While this maybe annoying,I don't see the reason for the arrest.Oh scares the sheep.They may find out that their safety is an illusion!


March 11, 2004, 07:03 PM
"I'm just an [expletive],"

Hey, at least he was honest about his motivation.

As much as I don't like to be kept in the dark on things, I'd be the first guy to tell a fellow passenger to shut the hell up if they demanded to know who the AirMarshals were on my flight.

March 11, 2004, 07:04 PM
except the airmarshall did his job and remained incognito while informing authorities about said passenger:p

J Jones
March 11, 2004, 07:06 PM
Silverman was charged with interfering with a flight attendant through assault or intimidation and ordered to appear next Monday in federal court.

What assault? What intimidation?

I didn't read where the attendant asked him to return to his seat and he became beligerent? The air marshal's job would be to restrain him in such case (thus answering his question ;) ).

All I see is a man asking "uncomfortable" questions in a tactless manner.

March 11, 2004, 07:20 PM
"Excuse me, are any of the staff in this bank armed?"

"Mr. Pit-boss, can you show me the areas of your casino where I will not be video taped?"

"Mr. 7-11 clerk, what would you say is the average response time on emergency calls from this store? I'm just curious."

March 11, 2004, 07:22 PM
I don't think they necessarily recounted every word/action of the entire flight. Intimidation can be interpreted in many ways and often is. If they asked him to sit down (which I am sure they did) and he did not immediately comply then he is in trouble. If you don't like the rules then don't ride on the plane.

March 11, 2004, 08:02 PM
Sounds like a jerk to me.

rock jock
March 11, 2004, 08:08 PM
You folks are forgetting that a plane is unlike other places. As ozendorph points out, people can make annoying statements and generally be disruptive to business and possibly even threatening. However, in all those cases, the management only has to ask the person to leave or threaten them with arrest. Leaving is not an option on an airplane in flight. By purchasing a ticket, a passenger is agreeing to abide by the airline's rules and federal laws. If they don't like it, then drive.

March 11, 2004, 08:15 PM
OK so let me see, some guy acts like an obnoxious jerk off on a plane and gets properly busted for it, and we are implying here that that is bad...???


March 11, 2004, 08:17 PM
we are implying here that that is bad I don't know Wild it seems like most of us are on the same side here.

March 11, 2004, 08:31 PM
OK so let me see, some guy acts like an obnoxious jerk off on a plane and gets properly busted for it, and we are implying here that that is bad...???

Not from me. Though I did read somewhere he was charged with a felony, and that seemed a bit harsh, a misdemeanor would seem more in line with being a jerk.*

* I saw this on a blog earlier today, sorry I can't recall which so I have no link....

El Tejon
March 11, 2004, 09:24 PM
Whose "we", Wild?:rolleyes: Yes, Wild, we are all against you. Look out! Is it a bear? No, it's a THR member exercising his right to question the actions of his government! Such horrors cannot stand! Quick get the truck/bear gun and prepare for the repeal criticism drill!

J Jones, remember, the answer to all criminal law questions is: IT DEPENDS!:D

March 11, 2004, 09:42 PM
Golly guys.... sensitive are "we"? we i was referring to the title here.....perhaps a mea culpa for lack of clarity?

EL T, you also know the second rule of criminal law dont ya?...They are all guilty of something, sometime, otherwise they wouldnt have been arrested....


March 11, 2004, 09:47 PM
I know the proper response to the obnoxious AH.

"Lets roll"

March 11, 2004, 09:52 PM
I would have raised my hand and said, "Right here buddy! Can I help you?"

It would have taken the heat off of the real marshall and the flight attendent and I could have felt all, like powerful and stuff.:D

Of course then I would have been arrested for impersonating a federal officers etc., but then I would have said, "Hey, I was just trying to help, what can I say?" and got my picture in the paper.

It would probably be an interesting conversation sitting in the jail with perp #1 (me being perp #2).:neener:

J Jones
March 11, 2004, 10:41 PM
Let's see, guy asks questions and act like jerk but causes no meaningful or lasting harm and now is charged with a felony. That sounds appropriate to the "crime." Are there any federal misdemeanors? I'm thinking not.

No one is questioning this guy's lack of tact, good sense, or obnoxiousness. It still doesn't warrant a felony and it isn't much of a stretch to say that asking uncomfortable questions of protected classes could lead to similar charges. I believe I read a post here recently where a poster had his traveller's checks nearly lifted by a federal "agent" of the TSA. Wouldn't take much to claim this guy was "intimidating" a federal agent or some such BS that would make him out as the criminal in that scenario when asking "what the hell are you doing?".

March 11, 2004, 11:37 PM
I agree that this is not felony material in my book, but as was mentioned, doing stuff like this aboard a commercial aircraft wasn't tolorated long before "The Patriot Act". Acting a fool on an airplane is a good way to get arrested and has been for years. Possbily since the beginning of commercial aviation. I believe the same thing applied on ships. I recall my dad telling me about talking a short day trip on a boat in the Ohio River probably 50 years ago. One guy got drunk and was acting a fool and he was put in a locked room for the duration of the trip.

March 12, 2004, 12:53 AM
Hmmm... just because we have the right to act like arses doesn't mean its appropriate to always do so. I don't have one wit of problem with this jerk being arrested. An airplane is a definite "control" situation. The flight crew MUST be in control, period. Take some personal responsibility and behave like an adult.

March 12, 2004, 03:26 AM
....but maybe he's after information. There's a good reason why air marshals look like other passengers-so that they aren't killed first by terrorists. If he were working with a partner, any action taken by the air marshal, assuming one was aboard, could have been noted and "neutralized".

Think of it like CCW. If the criminals think a victim might be armed, but doesn't know which one, he is going to thing twice about his actions. Personally, I hope that after they detained him, they did a body cavity search. And I hope they ban him from flying. Some people deserve to go Greyhound. :fire:

El Tejon
March 12, 2004, 09:16 AM
Wild, regarding Rule #2, guilty of something? No, not my guy, either SOME OTHER GUY or THAT OTHER GUY, but not MY guy!:D

March 12, 2004, 09:21 AM
More appropriately, don't be an "[expletive]," in a public situation.

Sounds like the man in question is pretty self-aware.

March 12, 2004, 10:29 AM
"I'm just an [expletive],"

And not a very smart one at that.

I picture him as a wide-eyed, spit-spraying clown who refused to follow the attendant's multiple requests to return to his seat.

There really should be a law against being really, really stupid in public. :)


J Jones
March 12, 2004, 11:27 AM
Just don't make it a felony.

March 12, 2004, 11:34 AM
No, just make it where a well deserved ass stomping is federally protected.

March 12, 2004, 02:14 PM
Well that was uter stupidity on this guys part he was foolish to behave in such an manner on a plane in this day and age. Me I hate flying well I have a fear of flying but when I need to fly as in no time to drive I do so. That being said I fell safe once I'am on the plane I just kick back relax and eat my peanuts and drink my soda :D Oh yeah and I check out whcih flight attendant has the niceist legs:D last time I checked it wasen't against the law to check out a womens legs. But I keep my opinions to myself which is what this guy should have did.

I know this isn't the same thing but this guy had to do more than ask questions to get areested or perhaps it was the nature of the questions being asked. Why does he care who/where the air marshals are? very suspicous behavior indeed.

J Jones
March 12, 2004, 02:20 PM
Why does he care who/where the air marshals are? very suspicous behavior indeed.

Why should it be a problem that he asked it? They need not answer. Why is it suspicious? He's just an -------, as he said. Now he's going to be a felon.

March 12, 2004, 02:41 PM
This kind of situation would be perfect for someone to practice their John Wayne impression.

March 16, 2004, 02:26 PM
I see in the morning paper he entered a guilty plea and apologized.
He regained some of his senses it appears.

"What can I tell you, I behaved badly and I am sorry if I caused any trouble."

"Silverman pleaded guilty yesterday to simple assault..."

He could have received 6 months and a $5000 fine.

The judge gave him one year of probabtion, 20 hours of community service and a $1500 fine.


March 16, 2004, 06:50 PM
It sounds as if he got what he deserved.

Either way, I'm just glad there was a REAL air marshall on board. It's about time there are more of them.


March 18, 2004, 01:23 PM
Althought the article is intrestingly incomplete and mis-titled (perhaps to stir up contraversy? Noo! Of course not!) It does not mention any failure to comply with crewmenber instructions, or verbal abuse of said crewmenbers. But I'll bet my lunch money it happened.

The prohibition against bringing a GUN onto the plane is right next to the prohabition on interfearance with crewmenbers. The same thing when you get stoped by cops, you do what they friggin say or exepct a batton up the ass. (or at least handcufs.) Attack 'em in court later if they're in the wrong, but 99.99% of the time they're not. That's better than everybody but CCW holders :)

Your rights on an airplane are limited, and justly so. If you don't like it, take a bus.

From 14CFR CH1:

§ 135.119

Prohibition against carriage

of weapons.

No person may, while on board an

aircraft being operated by a certificate

holder, carry on or about that person a

deadly or dangerous weapon, either

concealed or unconcealed. This section

does not apply to—

(a) Officials or employees of a mu-

nicipality or a State, or of the United

States, who are authorized to carry

arms; or

(b) Crewmembers and other persons

authorized by the certificate holder to

carry arms.

§ 135.120

Prohibition on interference

with crewmembers.

No person may assault, threaten, in-

timidate, or interfere with a crew-

member in the performance of the

crewmember’s duties aboard an air-

craft being operated under this part.

[Doc. No. FAA–1998–4954, 64 FR 1080, Jan. 7,


March 18, 2004, 04:48 PM
This section does not apply to
(a) Officials or employees of a municipality or a State, or of the United States, who are authorized to carry arms...

Hmmm... does that mean a local Police officer or Sherrif is allowed to carry on an airplane? How about a reserve officer? If so I think a lot of THR members who fly are going to be volunteering on their local Police reserve roles.

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