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Defense attorney: United flight fondling suspect 'blacked out'


PITTSBURGH -- The lawyer for a Seattle-area man says his client doesn't remember groping a female passenger aboard a United Airlines flight.

The Pittsburgh lawyer, Steve Townsend, says 46-year-old Michael Lamar Holland recently changed seizure medications and has a history of blackouts.

Holland has been charged by federal air marshals with abusive sexual contact for the episode Sunday night on United Flight 917.

Air marshals say Holland groped the 39-year-old woman shortly after the flight took off for Seattle from Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.. The plane was bound for Seattle from Dulles International Airport but was diverted to Pittsburgh as a result.

Holland is scheduled to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.


I caught this on local TV news last night. Details were sketchy, but it seemed that the woman was vocally objecting telling the guy to leave her alone, and her kid was with her saying, aloud, "Why is that man touching my Mommy?"

One passenger who commented was a row away from the woman.

I'm kinda wondering why none of the other passengers didn't intervene before the marshals did. Perhaps, eventually, had there been no marshals, someone woulda cowboyed up and done sumpthin. I sure can't see me sitting by idle.

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Don't mind me,I'm just crabby. But I was referring to the important point on this matter and it's that some people just don't give a damn. Their lives are too important to get involved in something that might divert them from it. That's why so many people get away with crimes nowadays.

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