2 San Diegans convicted in Texas of disrupting Southwest flight

Posted at 10:46 AM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 14:12:14-04
AMARILLO, Texas -- Two San Diego men have been convicted of disrupting a Chicago-bound Southwest Airlines flight.
Jonathan Khalid Petras and Wisam Imad Shaker were convicted Thursday in Amarillo, Texas, of interference with a flight crew and aiding and abetting. Each faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 
An affidavit says Petras, Shaker and four other men boarded Flight 1522 in San Diego last August and sat together. Prosecutors say the men became aggressive, used obscene language when denied alcohol and refused instructions from flight attendants. Pilots eventually diverted the plane to Amarillo. 
All six were detained when the jet landed at Rick Husband International Airport. The flight continued to Midway International Airport after a brief delay. 
Essa Solaqa and Khalid Yohana were acquitted Thursday. Charges against two other men were previously dismissed.
The men were flying to the Assyrian American National Convention in Chicago. The men were part of the San Diego Chaldean Soccer League.
"They were fighting with the flight attendant, because the flight attendant wouldn't allow them to have alcohol, because they were already being too loud during the flight," a female passenger told WGN-TV at the time. "And they called her a racist, and called her a pig. And then I got into a confrontation with them. And they were calling me names and flicking me off."
Prosecutors said the men refused to put their seat backs and tray tables up when asked and used profanity when a flight attendant was taking drink orders. When a flight attendant asked them to quiet down, they responded that they could be as loud as they want. When the men were denied alcohol, they “became aggressive by lunging forward at a flight attendant.”