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CO Agent Chokes/attacks PAX @ EWR  
User currently offlineAA@DFW From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 397 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2037 times:

Witnesses Say Airline Agent at Newark Attacked First

By MARIA NEWMAN

NEWARK, March 27 — Clutching a picture of her family and pausing often to weep, the wife of a man accused of breaking the neck of a Continental Airlines ticket agent testified today that the agent had been choking her husband.

The witness, Victoria Davis, was the first to testify on behalf of John C. Davis Jr., who is on trial in State Superior Court, charged with aggravated assault.

The prosecution rested today after a week of presenting witnesses, several of whom said they saw Mr. Davis, of Fredericksburg, Va., grab the ticket agent, Angelo Sottile, in a bear hug and throw him headfirst onto the floor after a dispute over boarding passes on July 22, 1999. If he is found guilty, Mr. Davis will face up to 10 years in prison.

In response to questioning by Ronald Sampson, one of her husband's lawyers, Mrs. Davis described an evening in which her family of 11 was waiting at a crowded terminal for a flight that was more than two hours late. She said that Mr. Sottile began yelling at the crowd to form one line and told families traveling with children that they could board first. The Davises and their two children lined up, along with her parents, her sister and brother-in-law and their three children, to begin a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Her father was first in line, she said, and he had four of the children with him. Behind him was her mother, who was in a wheelchair; Mrs. Davis was pushing the wheelchair. When her father gave Mr. Sottile the boarding passes, she said, he told them that they did not have enough passes for their group.

As different family members began arguing with Mr. Sottile over the boarding passes, she said, her daughter, Kayla, who was then 18 months old, ran into the jetway, and she tried to go after her. Mr. Sottile told her she could not go after the child, she testified, and he physically restrained her.

"He put his hands on my chest and told me to get back," she said, using both her hands to demonstrate how she was pushed. "He told me, `You're not getting your daughter.' "

She said she went around him anyway to get to her daughter, who was crying for her mommy. She said that was when her husband approached Mr. Sottile.

"My husband told him, `Don't touch my wife,' " Mrs. Davis said.

Then, she said, she saw Mr. Sottile grab her husband by the neck and begin to choke him, until the two fell onto the floor. She said she saw her husband's feet go up into the air about waist high.

None of the prosecution witnesses said that they had seen Mr. Davis fall to the ground, only that they had seen him throw Mr. Sottile several feet before he landed on his head.

Mrs. Davis's father, Richard Kevin Caldwell, who lives in Iselin, N.J., also took the stand today. He said that he saw Mr. Davis grab Mr. Sottile from behind, and that the two fell down together, with Mr. Sottile's head hitting the floor first and Mr. Davis landing on top of him.

"John got up and walked away," Mr. Caldwell said, adding that airline employees surrounded Mr. Sottile as he lay on the floor.

A third witness, Patricia Stotzer of Hillside, N.J., also said that she saw Mr. Sottile choking Mr. Davis with one hand. But the prosecutor, Leslie Mann, tried to cast doubt on her testimony by noting that in grand jury hearings last year, Ms. Stotzer had said that Mr. Sottile had grabbed Mr. Davis with both hands and that "it didn't look like he was choking him."

Mr. Mann also noted that Ms. Stotzer, who was a city councilwoman in Hillside, N.J., at the time of the incident, had called a newspaper reporter instead of going to the police with her account of what had happened.

_______________________________________________

Any thoughts?

AA@DFW


41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1828 times:

There are too many sides to this story. Sottile should be suspended for a while, and both should be forced to take anger management classes.

-Shawn


User currently offlineSkippy208 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1799 times:

Choke hard, fly right.

Skippy


User currently offlineAaer 777 From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1776 times:

My thoughts go to all the gate agents out there who will not fail to identify the scene as your ultimate midsummer nightmare... Chocka-block flight, large group of violent apes with kids running amock and grannies moaning from down below in the weelchair (even though they can walk perfectly well...). And 40 minutes to board all the pax...
The scene could actually be funny in Airplane 3 the sequel, this unfortunately happened for real...



Which part of "NO" do you not understand?
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1760 times:

This event happened more than a year ago at EWR. I have talked to eyewitnesses of this incident, and they say that the defense's "claims" are ludicrous. The agent in question never went back to work, as he lost 60% of the movement in his neck and, while not paralyzed, is partially disabled.

The defense "claims" that the agent, who stands 5ft 5, and weighs 150lbs, attacked this customer-a National Guardsman who is 6ft tall and weighs 200lbs. Yet the prosocution has lined up witness after witness after witness-customers and other agents alike-that have said that the agent never touched the customer, and that this customer basically picked up the agent and body slammed him into the ground.

Hopefully, this mutt will get what he deserves-some seious prision time. The truly disgusting thing about all this is that, even though he caused serious injury to this agent, HE is suing CO for damages. I highly doubt he'll ever see a dime.


User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 1724 times:

Yeah I can picture this night pretty clearly. Late flight at crowded EWR. Lots of kids and family stressed out and tired gate aggents. fmaily aggravated about delay, kids complaining, grandparents frustrated, and than this idiot gate aggent is not friendly, not helpful, not understanding of this family's frustration, still plays his power trip and well yeah, there is gonna be a problem.

Its a shame the guy got hurt, but if he had a half a brain or was just a little more understanding he could have been helpful and assisting rather than an SOB. An and SOB on a tough night does not bode well with angry pax.

Just my views,
russ


User currently offlineWannabe From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 677 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1703 times:

The real lesson here is never get between a small child and its parent. If my 18 month old took off down a jetway, no one is going to stop me from going after him or her. Although I do not agree with anyone resorting to violence, someone who is preventing me from retreiving my child from what could be a dangerous situation is putting themselves at risk. Knowing that the jetways do not always mate up with the aircraft completely, I would be very nervous that the child could fall to the ground once they arrived at the aircraft entrance. It sounds like the situation was out of control before the child took off, but as soon as a childs safety was in question, all other discussions should have stopped and one of the parents should have been allowed to retrieve the child. Lesson to passengers, keep your hands off airline employees and on your kids. Lesson to airline employees, always remember that a child is the first priority of a parent (or at least should be) and never interfere with that.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7786 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1691 times:

Regardless of the stress of the evening and the gate agents somewhat curt actions DOES NOT justify aggrevated assault. There is no excuse for the defendents actions. He deserves a little time in prision to think about what he did to this man and to his family.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1603 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1675 times:

hi
are there witnesses (other than the family) who can confirm the version of the 18 months kid running in the jetway?
working at CDG, I know some of us can be a**holes but I can't imagine any agents preventing a mother to retrieve her child in a jetway -if something happened to the kid, it would be airport agents' fault for not having the jetway secured!!!- no way!! let the mother find the kid!!!!
it sounds to me like the family is making up stuff...



AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3529 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1675 times:

The real lesson is: Parents should have control of their kids and not let them run rampant while people are trying to board an aircraft.

If kids were the first priority of the parents in this instance (as they should have been), there would be no alleged "running down the jetways" in the first place.

Frankly, I don't buy this Defense story at all. If the agent DID say "You can't go get your kid", I'd agree that it was not the correct thing to say.

But I don't buy it, and this has all the feeling of revisionist history. I can see it now: The mother weeping as the evil gate agent grabbed her, keeping her from her poor child who was in grave danger... blech. I can almost hear the lawyers coaching from here.


User currently offlineCOexERJ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 1668 times:

"this idiot gate agent is not friendly, not helpful, not understanding of this family's frustration, still plays his power trip"

"Ha! The CO Ticket Agent got what he deserved"

"Yes, it is a shame that CO bastard is hurt, but come on!"


I am personally offended by such comments. I'm sorry, but no one deserves to have his/her neck broken. No one deserves to be attacked, verbally or physically. People, I doubt any of you were actually there, I doubt any of you have actually listened to the testimony. With that being said, I think it's appropriate to let the jury decide this one, we owe both persons, as a minimum, that much dignity and respect.

Peace,
COexERJ


User currently offlineWannabe From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 677 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 1653 times:

If the part about the child running down the jetway and/or the gate agent preventing the mother from getting him is false, then the father should serve time for what he did....no question about that at all. My only point was that if the agent did prevent the mother from getting a child who was running away, I would be hard pressed to push for prison time for the father. A big fine, community service or something of that nature. The real fact here is that the only persons that are in any position to make a good judgement call on this one is the jury, who has heard ALL of the testimony as opposed to the few parts that all of us have gotten from the true and honest press.

User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 1635 times:

The misogynistic and cruel comments in several of these posts demonstrate, as clearly as the Newark incident does, that the human race hasn't progressed much in the last thousand years or so.

User currently offlineMitchell Gant From Montserrat, joined Aug 2000, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

No, the misogynistic and cruel comments on this forum demonstrate the large number of children participating in this discussion.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6484 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

A very sad story indeed.
I think that Wannabe summed it up very clearly when we assume that the story is accurrate.
The father went completely out of control and was violent. Violence is never a valid thing (except seft defence of course) and he must take his punishment for that.
It is equally clear to me that the gate agent should never have been a gate agent. Never mind what happens, nobody stops a mother retrieving a runaway 18 months old child. Never! They assist her instead, even if that may have quite serious secondary consequences of disorder to deal with afterwards. 99.9% of all people will know that by instinct.

I know that it is often not an easy job to be a gate agent or flight attendant when people act screwedly. But hell, you are not alone. It is no different from what all other businessmen in different businesses have to deal with. If you are working at a super market or gas station, it is in principle all the same. You must keep the head cool and act in a professional way, even if it takes time and effort, you are late, and you are tired. There is no excuse for not acting sensibly in the way you are educated to do.

A very sad story. And it may happen again... :-(

Best regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

>>When her father gave Mr. Sottile the boarding passes, she said, he told them that they did not have enough passes for their group.

As different family members began arguing with Mr. Sottile over the boarding passes, she said, her daughter, Kayla, who was then 18 months old, ran into the jetway, and she tried to go after her. Mr. Sottile told her she could not go after the child, she testified, and he physically restrained her.

"He put his hands on my chest and told me to get back," she said, using both her hands to demonstrate how she was pushed. "He told me, `You're not getting your daughter.' "<<

Could it be of some security reason? The gate agent wasn't sure if all the boarding passes were in there, so they can't let someone go down the jetway.

This is similar to what happened to me on an AirTran flight. After I got off the segment ATL-MCO, I remembered that I left a couple of things on board the aircraft, so I went back to the gate, but they wouldn't let me go get them(even though I was in seat 1D) because I didn't have my boarding pass(It was on the plane.). I had to wait for an agent to be available to go down and get my stuff.


User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1587 times:

Here's my take on the whole thing...

The defense is full of crap. I've seen what the defendent looks like and what the gate agent looks like. There is no way the gate agent could have taken the defendent.

Now about the child running down the jetway. It's against federal law for anyone to cross a secured area without the proper credentials or under strict supervision. I think the gate agent meant to say, "hold on a second, let me get your kid." I can see with all the yelling, screaming, and comments being exchanged this could be truncated into "you can't get your kid." I seriously doubt he meant that once the kid crossed the threshold the airline was going to kidnap him.

- Neil Harrison


User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1585 times:

Just remembered The Simpsons episode "Bart gets hit by a car" shows that you should take everything with a grain of salt. This is very similar to it.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6484 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1568 times:

Nope Lowfareair, your comparison of a runaway baby and yourself (teenager according to profile) forgetting stuff is totally irrelevant.
They probably let you wait extra long time to make sure that next time you remember your stuff.
Security reason? Boarding a plane is not a war (even if it sometimes looks like one), and nobody is at a security risk. Boarding passes? They are sorted out when all runaway babies are retrieved.
Any professionally acting gate agent would have made it clear to all the pax that the extra delay caused by the runaway child and gaining control again afterwards was caused by parents who didn't control their kids properly, and that way tell parents that next time they should better control their kids in an airport.
That would be the professional way of teaching lessons, the same way as you learned that you'd better remember your stuff. Just imagine if half of a planeload came rushing back on the plane retrieving forgotten stuff.
Cheers, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineNW-ELITE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 1552 times:

How can you say that the gate agent got what he deserves? The parents should keep the kids with them at all times and always pay attention to them. You have major problems.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 1532 times:

Preben: the agent was about to let me on, but wouldn't until I produced a boarding pass. When I didn't find it, I said it must be on the plane, and he replied: "I'm sorry, but I can't let you on without a boarding pass". What I left on there was the inflight mag, with my pass stuck in it, and a 'British Airways' hat.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

FlyerC_B757; You incensitive bastard!!!!!I've just informend Johan to delete your offensive post. For an imature 13-15 year old who was no there but relying soley on the wifes testimony you sure know alot you stupid moron.

This happened in my area so I know this better since I've been keeping tabs on the trial. There were two gate agents. The other CO gate agent was going to get the kid and Mr Sotile was restraining the woman because she had no clearance to board the plane. While the female CO attendant went to get the child. Mr Sotile was body slammed to the floor as witnessed by a dozen passengers. This poor man has lost 60% of movement in his neck and before ther incident happened he worked two jobs at the CO and the US Post Office sorting mail in order to support hi wife and children. Mr Sotile can only work 6 hrs a day at the post office before his physical ailments overcome him and he has not worked for CO since the incident.

TWAneedsNOhelp. Why don't you get off your high horse and find out that Mr Sotile was doing his job by not allowing unauthorized personel aboard the plane!!!! Thats what his job at CO was you idiot. He was NOT being an SOB. But you are for not even dommmenting or listening to Mr Sotile and the testimony from dozens of witnesses which includes passengers and CO employees. The other gate agent was getting the 18 month old kid and Mr Sotile was preventing unauthorized person/person from entering the plane.

Do you two even think before commenting. You two are a disgrace to forum members who are under 20. I can't belive that even to this day people make ignorant comments like the ones that you to posted above. So tell me do you hate Mr Sotile because he works with the airline you hate instead of like? Or is it something even more?

If you two ever actually have the brains or the balls to have kids I'd like to see what you'll do to the gate agent who is trying to prevent you from boarding the plane because you have NO authorization. Will you be this violent to him/her for doing their job? While the airline does it's job by trying to get your get your kids and get you there safely and satisified in anyway possible. Don't you two have better things to do than to harrass a man who has been seriously hurt and on top of that to have a frivoulous lawsuit at the airline for trying to protect you. Go to any airline or any airport worldwide. They'd do the same. For someome who doesn't know crap about the industry(as far as I can tell from your comments and user profiles) You guys can sure talk alot of BS. I hope that you "hero" is put away for the maximun the law can allow and to make people thing twice about what they do and how they treat employees. If this happened in the Middle East; Mr Davis wouldn't have a prayer and possibly face life or execution for attempted murder.

*Johan please do not delete this post. This is to answer the know it alls who think that it's ok to injure and try to murder someone because you are violating Federal policy. What part of NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONELL ALLOWED ON BOARD don't they quite understand. If they did know about it they would've know that another CO agent was in persuit of the 18 month old. There is absloutley no reason for this monster's actions at all.



"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3294 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (13 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 1506 times:

Airlines should provide gate agents with pepper spray and allow gate supervisors to carry guns, and this kind of crap will stop real fast!


.......
User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (13 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

The agent was doing his job. Even if the kid ran down the jetway the parent cannot just run after and get him/her. They should have been watching where their kids were running around. As an airline employee, I hope this person gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4347 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (13 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

THey were both stupid. Why would they argue then assult one another over a simple boarding pass. Just plain nonsense. They both deserves to go to jail. The CO CSR should immediatly get fired and serve some jail time.

Just plain stupid!!!!

Kevin/DCA



SIX T'S!......TURN. TIME. TWIST. THROTTLE. TALK. TRACK.
25 Flaps : VirginA340, Amen. You just saved me a lot of typing.
26 Wanderlust : Gocaps16 wrote: >Why would they argue then assult one another over a simple boarding pass It's not just a stupid boarding pass, it's Federal Law. The
27 Ben88 : No the CO agent should not go to jail. He should be commended for preventing a security breech, which is what would have happened if both parents had
28 Critter592 : This happened in GPT Recently... The ASA Station Manager got in a fight with a passenger and they had themselves a little "Fist Flight" Well Fist Figh
29 Goooooaaal : Maybe EWR made 'em both crazy! Newark is a tough place to be. I remember arriving at 2:00 a.m. on delayed flight from BOG and had to wait until the mo
30 Post contains images Baec777 : As of Year 2003/2004, I will be in university to achieve the highest degree plan as a Doctorate Degree which include Master & Bachelor Degrees. I will
31 Alpha 1 : Gocaps, the AGENT should be fired AND go to jail after a guy 6 inches taller than him and weighing 50lbs more than him body slammed him? On what charg
32 Alpha 1 : Yeah, I have a reply to what you said: Someone is ACTUALLY gonna give a moron like yourself a Doctorate? After the nonsense you just posted? You're jo
33 Post contains images Baec777 : Johan, If you please delete my reply I just stated here. (Posted 2001-03-29 04:37:48) As of Year 2003/2004, I will be in university to achieve the hig
34 VirginA340 : For those of you who are still commenting that Mr. A. Sotile should be in jail; need I remind you that any of you would do the same to prevent the Dav
35 Alpha 1 : If you're that thin-skinned, then you better not post. YOu can tell Johan to delete the post, but you can't delete the utter stupidity behind what ou
36 Alpha 1 : If you're that thin-skinned, then you better not post. You can tell Johan to delete the post, but you can't delete the utter stupidity behind what you
37 DesertJets : After thinking about this a little this reminded me of an incident that my father was involved in last summer. At the time my dad was a store manager
38 COexERJ : "No, the misogynistic and cruel comments on this forum demonstrate the large number of children participating in this discussion." Is it any wonder th
39 Singapore 777 : I did not keep my tabs on this case but from all I've read so far...IMHO, it's a simple case of protecting your own siblings. The mum might be lying i
40 Varig md-11 : hi "People who pay the most discounted of fares and yet expect to be treated like king...simply disgusting! " exactly!!! a hundred times we have probl
41 Singapore 777 : I guess some people would rather the plane fly and crash and make their connections rather than delay the plane and miss their connections... Oh well,
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