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Drunk, grabby man on plane gets jail time

Posted: 6:08 AM, May 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-26 08:11:40-04

A man charged with causing a disturbance on a flight from Philadelphia to Denver in which crew members armed themselves with an ice breaking hammer and a pot of hot coffee has been sentenced to four months in jail.

The Denver Post reports that Joseph Wayne Lynch II, of Colorado Springs, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release after being found guilty of interfering with the U.S. Airways flight crew.

Court documents say Lynch became loud and threatening after a flight attendant refused to serve him more alcohol during the Aug. 4 trip.

That's when Lynch became "disruptive and threatening," according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lynch allegedly grabbed a flight attendant and kissed her neck.

"He also (falsely) claimed to be a former Green Beret/Special Forces, and he showed off his purported bullet wounds," said investigators.

"When instructed that his conduct was inappropriate, he then began a slew of profanities directed at flight attendants and passengers," investigators said. "Mr. Lynch was so loud that the plane’s captain heard his rants in the cockpit – over radio traffic and despite noise cancelling headphones."

That's when the flight attendants armed themselves with an ice hammer and a pot of hot coffee.

The attendants also grabbed plastic handcuffs and asked two able-bodied passengers to help them in the event that Lynch got even further out of hand. 

When confronted, Lynch responded by repeatedly stating, “Let’s go!”

He then promised to bring the airline down, investigators said. 

Lynch’s continued escalation of threats and inappropriate behavior eventually led the captain to lock down the cockpit and request law enforcement be waiting at the gate.

"When Denver Police officers arrived, and later an FBI Special Agent, Lynch redirected his threats and anger towards them.

“This sort of boorish, abusive and threatening behavior will not be tolerated by the flight crew (and fellow passengers) and constitutes a federal crime that we will prosecute forcefully to protect the flying public," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "May this case serve as a warning to others.”

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