By Natalie Alcoba
A retired Ryerson theater professor was sentenced over the summer to two months in jail for attacking an American Airlines pilot and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. Donald MacQuarrie, 53, pleaded guilty on March 15 to one count of interfering with flight crew. A U.S judge also sentenced him to two years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $4,600 (Canadian) fine and $6,000 in restitution to the airline. The charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $384,000 (U.S) fine.
MacQuarrie became a poster boy for air rage after he lost control on an American Airlines flight on Dec. 28. He and his wife left Toronto en route to Hawaii to celebrate his retirement from Ryerson. Shortly after takeoff, authorites said the professor left the restroom and told his fellow passengers the plane would crash and that they would all die. When the crew tried to subdue MacQuarrie, who had been drinking, the pilot was kicked in the chest. Eventually MacQuarrie was handcuffed with the help of a passenger. All the commotion cause the plane to make an emergency landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.