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Airline Pilot Arrested for Theft and DUI in Seattle

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Nov 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

Sometimes life imitates art. One of the more popular films in theaters right now stars Denzel Washington as an airline pilot with an alcohol addiction. The film, Flight, is getting rave reviews from critics, but in reality, there is nothing funny about a drunk pilot. Just ask anybody who has to fly with one. Seattle recently had its own intoxicated pilot encounter, when a 43-year-old airline pilot from Tulsa, Oklahoma was arrested for stealing a man's rental car.

The Omni Air pilot was arrested on Saturday night for theft and DUI, according to King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West. West noted that the pilot had been scheduled to fly to Tokyo only a few hours later. The flight was delayed by 24 hours and finally took off with a replacement crewmember. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the matter.

The pilot reportedly forced his way into a man's rental car near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The man happened to be armed, and struck the pilot several times with a handgun. The scuffle ultimately resulted in both men exiting the car, at which point the pilot began chasing the victim. Finally, the pilot hopped into the driver's seat and took off.

Officers soon found the car and the pilot—covered in blood—in a nearby parking lot. All in all, this was not a very productive Saturday for the pilot. He has been charged with theft and DUI, and he likely won't be flying any time soon. If indeed the pilot was intoxicated at the time of the rest, at least we can take comfort in knowing that he wasn't transporting a plane filled with travelers 35,000 feet above land.

"We want to emphasize that the crewmember was off duty at the time of the incident and was not scheduled to report for duty for 12 hours," Omni Air communications director Jeff Staton told the Associated Press. "The crewmember is currently on suspension while the facts are being investigated."

Driving under the influence is a serious matter, but in America, everyone has the right to an attorney. If you have been charged with a DUI, you should call a lawyer before doing anything else. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI, you will not receive a fair trial without expert legal representation. The system just isn't built in your favor.

Contact the experienced DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense to receive professional legal assistance in Seattle and King County. We will work with you to get a fair trial, and our award-winning lawyers will stand by you every step of the way. Call us today at 425-284-2000, or visit us at

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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