Tom Zelenovic charged with assault for beating man on plane after arguing over reclining seat

It's one of the busiest travel periods of the year, and you're already worried about having your junk irradiated or fondled by TSA agents.

But the stress isn't guaranteed to end once you're on the plane, as shown by the story of Brian Robert Dougal, who was allegedly assaulted by Tom Zelenovic over a reclining seat.

The Tom Zelenovic complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, tells the tale.

During the evening of November 22, the document maintains, a disturbance took place on American Airlines flight 3029, bound from Los Angeles to Denver. According to assorted witnesses, Dougal reclined his seat about ten or fifteen minutes after the plane took to the air with the intention of going to sleep. But as he was doing so, he felt someone behind him -- Zelenovic -- bump the seat from the back. "Are you serious?" Zelenovic asked. "My knees are up against the seat.

Dougal reportedly turned and told Zelenovic that his knees were against the seat in front of him, too, and suggested that he move to an empty seat next to him or stretch his legs to the side. Zelenovic allegedly responded that he'd paid for his current seat and he was determined to sit in it. Then, the complaint charges, Zelenovic "shook the back of Dougal's seat two to three times, then grabbed Dougal's right ear and pulled it back and down" hard enough to knock Dougal's glasses off.

Another passenger described the incident somewhat differently. He told authorities that Zelenovic actually whacked Dougal on the side of the head.

Upon his arrival in Denver, Zelenovic was escorted off the plane by members of the Denver Police Department. He faces one count of assault, which could net him six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Read the entire complaint below -- and happy holidays!

More from our News archive: "Sergei Berejnoi's alleged fake bomb claim makes Top 5 list of freakiest CO airport passengers."

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