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Flight Attendant Arrested (Again) for Inflight Fire

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Flight Attendant Arrested (Again) for Inflight Fire

Old 18th Jul 2003, 14:16
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Flight Attendant Arrested (Again) for Inflight Fire

This guy's earlier arrest was reported here:


Hope he finds another line of work (like maybe making big rocks into little ones).

Of course, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty etc., etc., etc...

Ex-flight attendant indicted in fire on ComAir flight

Man also had been accused of terror-threat call to AirTran

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When a ComAir commuter jet made an unscheduled landing three months ago in Rome, Ga., flight officials cited a smoky odor that had been detected in the cabin.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Atlanta charged then-ComAir flight attendant Turhan Jamar Lamons with trying to set the plane on fire. The federal indictment accuses Lamons of trying to "damage, destroy, disable and wreck" the May 8 ComAir flight carrying 48 passengers from Atlanta to Huntsville, Ala.

What ComAir officials did not know at the time of the emergency landing was that Lamons was under indictment in Clayton County for making a terroristic threat against an AirTran Airways flight one week after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the Clayton County case, Lamons, then a rookie flight attendant for AirTran, was charged with calling in a bomb threat to a Sept. 18, 2001, flight from Atlanta to Boston. "All passengers on Flight 278 are going to die," was all the caller said to an AirTran gate attendant before hanging up.

After the call was made, the plane was evacuated and searched.

Lamons made the call because his request for a day off had been turned down and he didn't want to fly, Atlanta police said after Lamons was arrested.

Although a Clayton County magistrate dismissed the terroristic threat charge against Lamons in October 2001, the Clayton district attorney's office continued investigating and obtained an indictment against Lamons for the AirTran incident in April.

Lamons, 23, of Morrow, was hired by ComAir, a Delta subsidiary, in August 2002.

Lamons' lawyer, Robert Mack of Jonesboro, said his client has pleaded not guilty to the Clayton charges. "I have no idea why they've charged him with that," the lawyer said.

Mack said he was unaware of the federal indictment but knew his client was under investigation for the ComAir flight incident.

ComAir spokesman Nick Miller said Thursday that ComAir continuously reviews its employee applicant screening programs, with help from the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI.

"We conducted a very, very stringent review in the aftermath of the May 8 incident" and additional enhancements have been made, Miller said, including the airline's rechecking the backgrounds of all its 5,500 employees.

Last year, all airline and airport employees with free access to the secure part of airports had to send their fingerprints to the FBI and submit to a background check. Not all airline employees are required to have a security badge.

The FBI sends employers the full criminal history of each employee or candidate. It is up to the employer to decide how to respond to the information, said Carter Morris of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Morris said an indictment might not cause a job candidate to be disqualified.

Only convictions for certain felonies, such as murder, espionage, treason, or conveying false information or threats would automatically disqualify the employee from having access to secure parts of the airport. If there's no conviction for one of those felonies, then the employee is allowed to have a security badge.

Miller would not say if Lamons had a security badge, but said that ComAir flight attendants "go through all federally mandated background checks that all other airline employees do."

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