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‘Unruly’ Southwest Passenger Pleads Not Guilty

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AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — A Florida man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of interfering with a flight crew after his allegedly hysterical behavior on a Southwest Airlines plane led to an unscheduled landing in Texas.

Ali Reza Shahsavari had several outbursts during a federal court hearing Tuesday in Amarillo. After pleading not guilty, he shouted “Guilty,” as the indictment was read.

The indictment says the 29-year-old Indialantic, Fla., man became disruptive and intimidated crew members by screaming profanities and damaging a lavatory during an Oct. 18 flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Mo.

Shahsavari’s attorney, Jeff Blackburn, said his client was schizophrenic, and his medication was no longer working.

Blackburn said Shahsavari’s sister was flying him back to Florida for treatment when the incident happened.

A prosecutor wouldn’t comment.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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