Skip to content
Log In | Sign Up Connect

What’s your story?

Share and find customer experiences

Connect with the people behind them

Wacktrap is
feedback made social

Post Your Wack Now

Trending Content


US Airways Pilot Arrests Football Player as Passenger Over Sagging Pants

| Share

by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

It seems U.S. Airways doesn't consider itself part of the travel industry battle to keep or gain new customers: The airline's pilot decided exercised his "right" to a citizen's arrest of a popular college football player who was arrested at San Francisco airport over sagging pants. The college student had just attended his best friend's funeral service June 15.
Apparently San Francisco International Airport (SFO) airport's tagline of "good to go" has not proved quite so accurate for at least one passenger -- unless the airport is referring to a jail visit for passengers.
20-year-old University of New Mexico college football player, Deshon Marman, was arrested at San Francisco International Airport -- all because he allegedly refused to pull up sagging pants while boarding a US Airways flight.
The standout University of New Mexico football player was on a flight to the Bay Area, then returning back to college, simply because of a death. He'd just attended a funeral service in the Bay Area for his best friend -- recently shot and killed on the streets of San Francisco, California.
It all ended when a police officer boarded the airplane and asked the college football player for his U.S. Airways boarding pass and plane ticket. According to his mother, Deshon Marman reportedly responded by asking: "Why? What did I do? I haven't done anything."
How things started, exactly, is a bit hazy: Allegedly, a US Airways ticket-taker and stewardess asked the football player to pull up sagging pajama bottoms as he was walking to physically board the plane flight scheduled to depart from San Francisco. The college player says he told US Airways employees he'd pull up his pants as soon as he could get his hands free -- and told his mother that he had, in fact, immediately done so when he'd reached his seat.
Reportedly a female U.S. Airways employee says she'd asked Marman to pull up his pants because they were "below his butt and his boxer shorts were showing.'" Note the airline doesn't claim Marman's actual ass or other body parts were showing, only that his boxer shorts were on display. Whether the "fashion trend" is or isn't agreed with by viewers, the US Airways incident didn't involve allegations of any public indecency.
But, by then, the U.S. Airways crew had decided to take action all on its own -- serious and unprecedented action that's being seriously questioned: Allegedly, airline employees felt the passenger wasn't following orders. The plane's pilot decided it was either his right or duty to go ahead and order all passengers off of the US Airways flight they'd just boarded -- solely to have the college football player taken into police custody, from SFO airport, where he was then transported to San Matteo jail. Held on $11,000 bail, Marman's got three charges over the plane incident: suspicion of Trespassing, Battery and Resisting Arrest.
The airline has been behind some very strange experiences related to airline travelers, including the TSA detainment of a passenger accused of using the on-board bathroom of a U.S. Airways flight too often. Last fall, in 2010, a U.S. Airways passenger on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Denver was pulled off the flight for bathroom use. The man was apparently in the restroom too often for the airline's comfort. The plane was checked by K-9 units upon landing in Denver -- and the unnamed, male passenger was actually detained at the airport and even questioned by TSA agents about his in-flight bathroom use. It was later reported the man may have had a medical issue responsible for his frequent restrooom visits. Medical issue or none, it's a potentially embarassing scenario for travelers -- pinned by the airline they pay to fly.
Marman's experience with U.S. Airways extends beyond embarrassing: It's a legal one that now bars his freedom, as the college football player sits in jail in Northern California, with three charges levied against the man.
The trespassing charge is odd since the plane passenger had paid for a ticket to be on board the flight, and logically should've had every right to be in the space. It's unclear whether the battery charge against Marman has to do with a visual or physical "attack". A legal charge of resisting arrest rounds out the weirdness: Marman did deplane without physical incident. The San Francisco Chronicle claims it took Sergeant Michael Rodriguez "15 to 20 minutes" of talking to Marman before he would get off the flight. The duration doesn't exactly seem outlandish considering the idea that the passenger was fully expecting to return home on that specific flight. Considering how absurd the entire U.S. Airways scenario seems, it's understandable Marman may have needed some explanation as to why he was being forced off the plane.
There's now rumor that the University of New Mexico football player supposedly resisted officers during or after being led off the plane -- though no airport video footage has been released, to indicate a scuffle or "resist" between Marman and law enforcement.
There's also now a strange rumor or report that a US Airways employee told Deshon Marman to pull up his pants after San Francisco police received a call of someone exposing himself outside a U.S. Airways gate at San Francisco International. Of course that claim by the airline, if truly made, would cast suspicion U.S. Airways is covering its tracks: The sequence of events would seem entirely out of order in that Marman would logically have been barred from boarding the plane at all -- if he was really thought to have been publicly "exposing" himself at the airport.
Donna Doyle believes the arrest is racially based. She says her son's physical size, black race with light skin, and dreadlocks are factors that played into her son's arrest -- insinuating that racial profiling or stereotyping is involved in the U.S. Airways arrest at San Francisco International Airport.
Deshon Marman's mom says her son is grieving and tired, his friend's California funeral taking place only yesterday -- and the full NBC News interview and video footage with Donna Doyle, Deshon Marman's mother, about her son's US Airways arrest at San Francisco Airport can be viewed here. Doyle says her son's arrest could jeopardize his football scholarship at college.
US Airways has issued the following statement about the Deshon Marman arrest: "The [US Airways] passenger refused to comply with instructions, so the captain exercised his right to make a citizen's arrest after passenger refused to deplane."
The statement by US Airways is extremely interesting considering there's no law against sagging pants and, in fact, the airline seems to be sidestepping the "pants" issue altogether. US Airways only addresses a supposed refusal for the passenger to deplane -- yet the traveler hadn't violated a law that seemingly should've required the paying traveler to deplane.
A U.S. Airways spokesperson reportedly told news station KRQE: "the airline's dress code forbids 'indecent exposure or inappropriate' attire." Considering there was no "indecent exposure" with only boxer shorts showing, and that "inappropriate attire" -- without a clearly-circulate list to passengers as to what clothing is specifically deemed "inappropriate" -- it seems U.S. Airways is going to be faced with a long and hard road in the PR nightmare the company's created.
It all reeks of a potential lawsuit on the horizon -- and perhaps rightfully so. The idea that plane passengers could be arrested at any turn is a scary concept.
If other plane passengers didn't feel comfortable about a passenger with sagging pants, not only was that idea never expressed by other travelers, but they certainly couldn't have felt more comfortable after being forced to deplane by the airline pilot. That issue seems to have also been skipped altogether: Not only was a passenger whom had expressed no threat to flight safety arrested by the airline, but US Airways additionally chose to inconvience an entire flight's worth of travelers -- solely, it appears, out of the airline's own selfish desire to play a game in power.
Equally interesting is the fact that, while US Airways insists the plane's pilot was exercising his right to a citizen's arrest, there's never been any indication or report that the pilot ever even had any interaction with the passenger. Apparently a citizen's arrest can occur by proxy -- at least where airlines are concerned.
The Marman arrest and legal charges had nothing to do with complaints from any passengers or indecency: the airline employees were apparently miffed at the perception that their orders hadn't been followed immediately, despite the fact those "orders" had nothing to do with safety -- and that the traveler had his hands full. Now airlines apparently believe they have the right to interfere with people's liberties and actual physical freedom -- with actions that require average citizens to be forced to bail out of jail, or sit there until they can come up with the money, then be required to defend themselves in court. It all appears to be yet another example of airlines' having too much latitude in perceived power after 9-11.

In the meantime, if new TSA scans and security screening problems aren't enough for air travelers, it seems US Airways travelers can now add one more concern to that list: US Airways passengers can now worry about possibly being arrested by an airline pilot for some unjustifiable cause. Don't bother advertising, US Airways -- you've already done enough to spread your name.
Travelers who want to contact US Airways can contact the airline here to file complaints or feedback with the company and airport flyers can additionally contact San Francisco International Airport (SFO) here.


San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
PO Box 8097
San Francisco, CA 94128-8097
United States
Phone: (650) 821-8211
37° 37' 26.0688" N, 122° 22' 53.7312" W
US Airways Corporate - Customer Relations
4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
United States
Phone: (800) 428-4322
Fax: (480) 693-2300
33° 26' 9.7512" N, 111° 59' 42.72" W
| Share
Average: 5 (3 votes)