DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Ezra James Wallace, age 29, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested without incident this morning by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for assaulting two teenage girls aboard a Southwest Airlines flight. Wallace will appear in U.S. District Court in Denver today, where he’ll be advised of the charges pending against him.
Wallace was charged late yesterday by Criminal Complaint, which was sealed pending his arrest. The United States Attorney’s Office will file an Information today, formalizing the assault charges.
According to the facts contained in the FBI affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on August 1, 2008, Wallace was aboard a Southwest Airlines Flight 3938 from San Diego, California to Denver, Colorado. The defendant was in a window seat. Seated next to him were two sisters, both of whom were juveniles. Prior to departure, Wallace took pictures of the girl seated in the aisle seat. The girl covered her face in an attempt to block Wallace from photographing her. During the flight, the defendant then allegedly grabbed the hands of the juvenile teenage girl seated next to him, binding them together with athletic tape. The tape was tightly wrapped around her hands, and was difficult to remove. The male then attempted to bind the other girl’s hands together. A flight crew member saw this and immediately moved both girls to a different row. Wallace later stated that he had drank approximately a half-pint of vodka.
“Twisted behavior against juveniles on airplanes won’t be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.
“The safety of the public, especially the protection of our children, is a priority for law enforcement,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis. “The FBI will continue to aggressively target those who commit crimes placing children in harm’s way.”
If convicted, Wallace faces up to 1 year in federal prison for assaulting one of the victims, and not more than 6 months imprisonment, and up to a $5,000 fine for assaulting the other victim.
This case was investigated by the FBI.
These charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.