On Saturday, Sergei Berejnoi was apparently upset that he arrived late at his DIA gate. So he allegedly said there was a bomb in his already checked luggage -- and was promptly busted. Of course, we've come to expect this kind of lunacy from passengers who land in Colorado. Here are four more examples of wackiness, whose perpetrators make up a different kind of Mile High Club. 4. Man with Arab-sounding name stops flight -- by shaving topless: In January, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Glen Allen, Virginia's Muhammad Abu Tahir, 47, was traveling from Atlanta to San Francisco. En route, Tahir "became upset and disruptive after flight attendants refused to serve him additional alcoholic drinks;" according to an affidavit supporting his arrest. Thing is, he'd already downed five mini-bottles of wine.
His response? He locked himself in the bathroom. Then, a few minutes later, Tahir opened the door, but only to put his shoes and socks outside. More time passed before the door opened again, revealing that Tahir was shaving without his shirt on. At that point, a flight attendant suggested he leave the can. That prompted him to yell at the attendant, claiming "that he was being disrespected."
Shortly thereafter, the flight's captain asked the crew to get a passenger to help them dislodge this passenger from the bathroom -- but Tahir fended off all efforts and stayed put. Flummoxed, they used beverage carts to create a barrier to the cockpit and armed themselves with a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, in case he spontaneously (or not so spontaneously) combusted. Meanwhile, the captain made for Colorado Springs, where Tahir was arrested.
3. Gregory Thomas Burns indicted for trying to get off plane -- in mid-air: This past February, Gregory Thomas Burns, a 33-year-old New York resident, told investigators "his drinking alcoholic beverages to an excess caused him to try to open the aircraft's door mid-flight," according to an indictment and complaint against him.
The documents state that a passenger who restrained Burns as he allegedly headed toward the cockpit reported hearing him shout: "I'm getting off this plane. Do you know who you're fucking with?"
Of course, Burns was a bit confused as well. He told investigators he had several drinks at the Dulles International Airport, which caused him to believe he was on the wrong flight. In fact, he thought was still on the tarmac in Virginia.
Burns was accused of interfering with flight crew members and attendants, a felony, by a Denver court.
2. Alan Houston Johnson, we have a problem: Feds ground another passenger for allegedly playing grab ass: Also in February, North Carolina's Alan Houston Johnson, a man with a history of sexual harassment complaints, allegedly caused a scene on a flight headed for Denver by fondling two flight attendants and a passenger aboard flight U.S. Airline Flight 245 from Chicago.
According to the criminal complaint filed against him, which cited two charges of interference with a flight attendant by assault and intimidation and abusive sexual contact on an aircraft, a pair of flight attendants said they were "inappropriately grabbed on the buttocks by Johnson" multiple times during the flight.
Johnson denied grabbing the women to federal investigators, maintaining that his injured and bandaged arm might have rubbed up against the flight attendants while they passed by with the beverage cart.
But a passenger on the flight with her husband said Johnson's bandaged hand didn't keep him from dry humping her. That woman said Johnson pushed her into a lavatory as she was trying to exit and forced his genitals against her back.
"She felt sexually violated and was shaken up for the rest of the flight," the court documents said.
The report also says Johnson threw water at one of the flight attendants.
Johnson's reported sexcapades eventually prompted flight staff to bring out restraint tape, which was never used, because the women stopped serving snacks and beverages to that area of the plane. Good call.
1. "Andrew Speaker: The Flying Prick:" That's how one Westword writer described Speaker back in 2007, when the man went on the lam, and in the air, after being diagnosed with tuberculosis and warned not to fly.
Speaker was quarantined at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, becoming an infectious national celebrity along the way. But while he presumably endangered an entire planeload of people, he subsequently saw himself as a victim.
Last year, he filed suit against the Centers for Disease Control for invasion of privacy, claiming that the CDC "unlawfully and unnecessarily" revealed his medical history. "Having my confidential medical history unnecessarily splashed across the world took a huge toll on me personally and professionally," he said.
And it also put him atop this list. Congrats!
More from our News archive: "DIA conspiracy theorists' bonanza: Anubis, god of the dead, joins Evil Blue Mustang."
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