Associated Press Story, June 3, 2005
DALLAS (AP) – A federal grand jury in Dallas issued an indictment Thursday against a Tulsa man, accusing him of assaulting and intimidating a Southwest Airlines flight attendant last summer.
Steven Kyle Maxwell, who was flying from Houston to Tulsa, also bit another passenger on the hand and struck him on the lip in the July 2004 incident, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper said in a news release.
Maxwell, who caused the flight to be detoured to Dallas Love Field, was charged with one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants and one count of assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction in the United States, according to the release.
Maxwell was honorably discharged from the Army with a medical disability after an automobile accident, has a pin in his hip and needs surgery, his Dallas attorney David Finn said.
Finn said he believes the combination of prescribed pain medication Maxwell was taking and something that happened on the plane might have contributed to the incident.
“It’s a serious charge, he and family understand that, and we’ll continue to work with prosecutors toward a resolution,” Finn said. “He’s got really bad hips, and some sort of tray or seat came down on his hip prior to this, and that was the trigger, if you will.”
If convicted, Maxwell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.