Plane Story for the Ages: Passenger Galina Rusanova Drinks Soap, Snaps "Like a Dog"
Mix red wine, sleeping pills, an anti-depressant, plus an international trip to meet an online acquaintance, and what do you get? Airplane passengers on board a United Airlines flight last week from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Heathrow Airport in London got the distinct displeasure of finding out the answer to that question, according to a complaint filed by the government against Galina Rusanova.
An FBI Special Agent's affidavit accompanying the complaint broke down some of the more interesting details. Apparently, a few hours into the flight Rusanova already appeared "very intoxicated" and had trouble getting into her seat. It was right about then that she kicked her feet up on her now-red wine-filled food tray and started kicking the seat in front of her. When approached, Rusanova asked for more wine, but was not served .
Perhaps displeased with the absence of wine, a crew member then "observed her drink a bottle of liquid soap that she had apparently removed from the bathroom." At that point, she was probably still relatively in the legal clear, but a crew member then tried to wrangle her to her seat, and things went swiftly downhill for Rusanova. Multiple crew members and a passenger got involved, and although the details are unclear as to exactly how, at some point Rusanova ended up allegedly "snapping like a dog" while trying to bite a flight crew member's leg.
Not surprisingly, the plane got diverted to Bangor International Airport, where Rusanova got deposited into an ambulance, then a hospital, and lastly jail. The charges leveled against Galina Rusanova? Intimidating crew members and interfering with the performance of their duties, plus misdemeanor assault while on an aircraft. The first is actually the more serious of the charges, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment plus fines.
Maybe her visit to her online acquaintance in the U.S. didn't go quite as planned, or, on the other hand maybe her explanation to the FBI agent covers it, "its typical of me, I sometimes do crazy things." The "two or three bottles of red wine", two Zolpiden sleeping pills, and two pills of the antidepressant Paroxetin probably she admittedly took probably didn't help either. At any rate, the passengers and crew on that flight have quite an airplane story to pass on.
- Charges Against Rusanova (FindLaw)
- Federal Law on Interference with Crew Members (FindLaw)
- Assault Information Center (provided by the Law Office of Henry S. Hilles, III)
- Criminal Law Center (FindLaw)
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