A man who allegedly drunkenly attacked a flight attendant while calling him a “f**” and “queer” could face a 20-year prison sentence.
Christopher Alexander Morgan was a first-class passenger on an April 22 Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Phoenix. He allegedly reclined his seat and refused to put on his seatbelt before the flight took off, despite the flight crew’s repeated requests.
Morgan then ordered an alcoholic beverage on the flight. But when he requested a second one, a flight crew member — identified in an FBI affidavit as “H.D.” — offered him a non-alcoholic drink instead.
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This reportedly angered Morgan enough to throw the ice in his glass at the flight attendant. When a passenger asked Morgan to calm down, Morgan allegedly became even angrier and threatened the passenger, holding his drink glass up to the passenger’s face.
When H.D. went to the galley to use the telephone to alert the captain about the disturbance, Morgan allegedly got up from his seat, grabbed the phone, called the flight attendant a “f**” and then hit him in the chest with the phone.
After the alleged assault, another flight attendant reportedly guarded the cockpit door for the entire flight, worried that Morgan might try and storm it.
FBI agents questioned Morgan when his plane landed. He admitted to FBI agents that he felt uncomfortable with the flight attendant’s perceived homosexuality and that he was angered over being denied a second drink.
“Morgan said that he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating to the flight attendants,” the affidavit concludes. “He said that his homophobia may have caused his temper towards the flight attendant to escalate and he admitted that he called H.D. a queer.”
However, Morgan denied attacking the flight attendant with the phone. Regardless, he now faces charges of interference with flight crew members, a felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The incident also highlights how homophobia threatens not only LGBTQ people, but anyone perceived to be queer as well as those around them, creating an alarming and potentially deadly environment for everyone around.