Tahoe firefighter on diversion in airline altercation

A Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District captain is on federal diversion after admitting to a charge related to an Oct. 3, 2022, altercation on a flight.

William Morgan admitted to assault of a flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight.

Morgan faces a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, one year of supervised release, five years probation and a $5,000 fine, according to a Dec. 13, 2023, plea agreement obtained by The Record-Courier.

Should Morgan successfully complete his diversion, the court will issue an order dismissing the complaint.

Morgan was on a flight between Palm Springs and Las Vegas when he approached a flight attendant and put his arms on her shoulders, demanding a kiss. He then grabbed another flight attendant’s shoulder and said he needed the first one to kiss him before grabbing her by the face and squeezing her head.

“Defendant admits that both … were scared of imminent bodily harm,” according to the plea agreement.

The incident was the subject of national news last summer when a complaint was filed in federal court.

Under the agreement, Morgan’s sentencing will be delayed for a year after his plea entry. Among the conditions for his diversion are 250 hours community service, mental health treatment and no adverse contact with law enforcement.

“The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District has recently become aware of the details of a criminal matter involving an employee,” Chief Scott Lindgren said on Thursday. “The district is following its personnel policies with regards to this matter and has placed the employee on administrative leave while the matter is fully investigated. All employee investigations and any actions that are taken are confidential.”


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