California man indicted in Oklahoma for disrupting flight

Mar 10, 2022, 9:45 AM | Updated: 9:49 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Los Angeles man was indicted in Oklahoma on federal charges he disrupted a flight from Arlington, Virginia, to Los Angeles in December, forcing it to divert to Oklahoma City.

Ariel James Pennington, 45, is charged with interfering with a flight attendant and assaulting a federal air marshal, according to court records. Pennington pleaded not guilty during a Wednesday court appearance.

His attorney did not answer a phone call seeking comment.

Prosecutors said Pennington faces up to 40 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted on both counts.

Pennington was arrested Dec. 9 after the Delta Airlines flight landed in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City police said at the time that Pennington was disorderly and intoxicated.

The indictment was issued in January, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Troester, but kept under seal until Pennington was arrested and could appear in court for arraignment.

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California man indicted in Oklahoma for disrupting flight