Plea deal reached in drunk PAL passenger case

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Apr 03 2014 01:36 PM | Updated as of Apr 03 2014 09:37 PM

LOS ANGELES – The bizarre case of the allegedly drunken Philippine Airlines passenger who punched a flight attendant while in flight is heading to a plea deal.

 Court documents show that Edgar Nonga and prosecutors have reached a plea deal in the February 23 incident where the 53-year-old security guard allegedly got drunk on a Los Angeles-bound Philippine Airlines flight and punched a flight attendant.

The US Attorney filed the plea agreement which had been signed off by Nonga and his federal public defender days before the scheduled federal court arraignment.

Under the agreement, Nonga will plead guilty to one count of simple assault within a maritime and territorial jurisdiction considered a class B misdemeanor.

He faces a maximum prison sentence of six months and a $1,000 fine.

According to the plea deal, Nonga will admit to being combative on the plane and attempting to kiss a female flight attendant, before he began punching a male flight attendant.

He had repeatedly punched the male flight attendant (identified as RL in the affidavit and plea deal) on two occasions before eventually being restrained by several passengers and other flight attendants.

He was returning home from a trip to the Philippines with his parents during the incident.

Nonga had been out on a $10,000 bail shortly after his arrest.

The federal affidavit claims that Nonga had admitted to officers during his arrest that he was drunk on that flight but did not remember his actions.

Nonga was originally charged with federal charges including interfering with a flight crew that carried a 20 year prison sentence.

With the April 1 post indictment arraignment canceled, a hearing for Nonga to enter his guilty plea has been scheduled on April 8.