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Plane passenger indicted on charge of interfering with flight crew in flap over reclined seat

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BOSTON — An airline passenger who became upset after a woman reclined the seat in front of him, causing the pilot to divert the plane, has been indicted on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.

Edmond Alexandre began to argue with other passengers over the reclined seat on the Aug. 27 flight from Miami to Paris, the U.S. attorney's office said. When a crew member intervened, Alexandre followed him down the aisle and grabbed his arm, it said. Two undercover federal air marshals subdued him, and the American Airlines flight was diverted to Boston.

The outburst over the reclined seat was at least the second such incident in the U.S. that week, authorities said. Days earlier, a United Airlines flight diverted to Chicago after two passengers argued over reclining a seat.

Alexandre, a 60-year-old Haitian national who lives in Paris, was indicted Thursday. His lawyer, Josh Hanye, said Friday he has serious health conditions including diabetes, which wasn't being properly treated at the time.

"I think all that matters in what happened on the plane," Hanye said.

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