Gardnerville man faces federal case in aircraft diversion |

Gardnerville man faces federal case in aircraft diversion

Staff Reports

A Gardnerville man, whose behavior allegedly forced an unscheduled Halloween landing in Reno last year, is facing federal charges.

Daniel A. Parkhurst, 38, appeared in federal court on Friday on charges of interference with a flight crew and abusive sexual conduct.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Parkhurst was onboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to Las Vegas on Oct. 31, 2019, when he “intimidated flight crew members and flight attendants.”

Parkhurst is accused of touching someone’s upper inner thigh.

“He created a disturbance by engaging in abusive sexual conduct and interfered with the performance of duties of the flight crew,” according to the indictment. “As a result, the aircraft was diverted from its flight to Las Vegas and landed in Reno.”

Parkhurst was taken into custody on Thursday in Gardnerville. A trial was scheduled for May 5 by U.S. Magistrate Carla Baldwin.

Parkhurst could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.