By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Feb. 26, 2014
GLENDALE – A Filipino passenger was arrested by authorities for an alleged drunken rampage on board a US-bound Philippine Airlines flight.
Statements given to federal agents claim Edgar Nonga, 53, admitted to having had four drinks at the Ninoy Aquino international Airport lounge before boarding PAL flight 112 heading to Los Angeles.
Upon boarding, Nonga, a California-based security guard who visited relatives in the Philippines with his parents, helped himself to a bottle of whiskey that he saw in the plane’s galley.
He had another drink. Then trouble started when the crew decided to cut him off after he asked for one more.
According to a witness testimony in a federal affidavit, Nonga began cursing at flight attendants in Tagalog and even threatened to have one killed if they did not give him another drink.
Some witnesses claim Nonga then puckered his lips in an attempt to kiss the female flight attendant who tried to make him stop drinking.
A male flight attendant identified as RL stopped Nonga from kissing his co-worker. However, Nonga began punching the male flight attendant in the torso and head.
One testimony claims Nonga was holding a key as if it was a knife during the alleged punching spree.
After Nonga was restrained, he returned to his seat. His mother then spoke to the attendants and told them to “do what you have to do” because Nonga wasn’t listening to his parents either.
Nonga came back for more, eventually punching RL again. Passengers and other crew members were able to restrain him.
He was arrested upon landing in Los Angeles on Sunday morning. Nonga now faces federal charges for disrupting a flight crew which carry a 20-year prison sentence.
According to the federal affidavit, Nonga admitted to being drunk on the plane and even helping himself to whiskey when he saw a bottle in the galley.
However, he told investigators that he did not remember punching or trying to kiss anyone.
He said he only recalled being pinned down and then waking up, handcuffed sitting next to a big man for the final six hours of the flight.
Nonga, a former US navy man, claims to have had no history of being diagnosed with any mental illness and was honorably discharged from the Navy.
Officials, however, say he was arrested for drunk driving in 2010.
Nonga’s federal public defender declined to comment on the case.
Nonga, who is currently free on $10,000 bail, is scheduled to appear in federal court on April 1. He is expected to give his plea at that appearance.
You can contact Steve Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.