Crime & Courts

Out of jail on charges of attacking flight attendant, he gets engaged

Passenger on Charlotte flight charged with attacking flight crew in 2017

Michael Kerr of Lexington, Ky., had three whiskeys during a flight to Charlotte, on July 21st. Footage shows him becoming impatient in wanting to disembark the plane. An FBI affidavit said it took the pilots and multiple police officers to drag Ke
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Michael Kerr of Lexington, Ky., had three whiskeys during a flight to Charlotte, on July 21st. Footage shows him becoming impatient in wanting to disembark the plane. An FBI affidavit said it took the pilots and multiple police officers to drag Ke

The day Michael Kerr got out of jail after being being charged with drunkenly attacking the crew of a inbound Charlotte flight, he apparently got engaged.

Next week, the Lexington, Ky., man will be back in a Charlotte courtroom on whether he’ll be allowed to remain free.

The 30-year-old Kerr, who says on his Facebook page that he is a chef in a Lexington restaurant, has been charged with interfering with the performance or duties of the flight crew and attendants.

The actual details are more revealing than the charge. An FBI affidavit said it took the pilots and multiple Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers to drag Kerr off the plane last Thursday night after he threatened, shoved, kicked and spat at several flight attendants as American Airlines flight 5039 from Lexington taxied to the gate at Charlotte Douglas International.

Kerr had three Jack Daniels whiskeys on the hour-long trip and refused an attendant’s order to stay in his seat until the plane stopped, the affidavit says.

“Can you sit down for me,” the attendant asks, according to a video shot as the incident unfolded.

“I could,” Kerr responds. “But I’m trying to help you.”

Fellow passenger Tina Tackett Sheets of Richmond, Ky., told the Lexington Herald-Leader that she picked up her phone and started filming after Kerr began acting erratically.

“I was scared of what he was going to do so I took the video for proof,” said Sheets, who was on her way to Myrtle Beach for a long weekend with girlfriends.

During the confrontation, Kerr threatened to break the flight attendant’s jaw, the FBI alleges. After rushing to the front of the plane, the FBI says Kerr kicked another attendant in the leg and shoved her to the floor. The pilots piled in, eventually wrestling the muscularly built Kerr to the ground, tying off his kicking legs with a seat belt.

Records indicate that Kerr spent the night at the Mecklenburg County Jail and was released last Friday. His Facebook page announced his engagement the same day.

Kerr’s page also lists him as a chef at Portofino’s, a upscale Lexington restaurant. Owner Wayne Masterman told the Herald-Leader that Kerry is an entry-level prep cook who has worked at his restaurant since May.

Kerr made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday. He will return Monday morning for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler. Janet Patton of the Lexington Herald-Leader contributed.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS

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