Pot cookie overdose had him flying wild
A 30-year-old artist from San Francisco probably wasn't feeling any pain when he was taken down by a US Airways flight attendant early this week.
As of Thursday, Kinman Chan was sitting in the Allegheny County Jail unable to come up with the $200 needed to make bond. He was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a flight crew.
Mr. Chan is probably still hazy on the details that have made him a laughing stock both here and in San Francisco.
After he attended a conference in the Dominican Republic, things apparently went wrong for the artist during a stopover in Philadelphia on his way back to the West Coast.
According to news reports, Mr. Chan, who has a prescription for medical marijuana, ate a double dose of his allotted amount of marijuana in the form of cookies. [Note: Insert a wise crack about getting the munchies here].
The downside of Mr. Chan's carelessness didn't take long to manifest itself. When he boarded the second leg of his US Airways flight, he smiled and waved inappropriately to the crew and his fellow passengers.
Big mistake. In the post-9/11 world, excessive friendliness on a plane is just as suspicious as a nut trying to blow himself up using a pair of explosive underwear.
It wasn't until Mr. Chan visited the plane's bathroom that he crossed over from the realm of the buzzed to earning every one of the days he's spending in Allegheny County Jail.
Noting his odd behavior, a crew member attempted to check on Mr. Chan after hearing screams in the bathroom.
Mr. Chan was eventually coaxed into leaving the bathroom, but when he emerged, his pants were still around his ankles.
The best thing that could be said about the situation -- after the attempted Christmas day bombing of an NWA flight from Amsterdam to Detroit -- was that at least Mr. Chan's underwear was not on fire.
When Mr. Chan clasped his hands together as if to pray, a member of the crew attempted to escort him back to his seat before passengers could get too freaked out.
That's when Mr. Chan grew defiant and took a swing at Lorin Gorman, a 51-year-old flight attendant with a fourth-degree black belt in Korean martial arts. It was exactly the wrong move for a man under the influence of marijuana cookies.
Ms. Gorman made short work of Mr. Chan by pinning his arms behind his back and applying an old-fashioned choke hold that got his attention.
The US Airways flight was diverted to Pittsburgh so that Mr. Chan could be taken into custody.
When the world stopped spinning and he was in his right mind again, he was face to face with the reality of a Pittsburgh jail cell -- the ultimate bummer after scarfing down a bunch of marijuana cookies in Philly.
It was a screw-up of monumental proportions, but the passengers were never in any real danger. No one -- with the exception of San Francisco-based, right-wing, talk-show host Michael Savage -- suggested that al-Qaida might attempt to emulate Mr. Chan for a more nefarious outcome.
With any luck, Mr. Chan's friends or some merciful soul here will pony up the $200 needed to spring him from the Allegheny County Jail if he's still a guest of the city. He's taking up space that could be used by a real criminal.
By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Friday, February 05, 2010
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