Have you ever woken up from an early January drunken stupor and wished you could reset the new year and start again? That's how William Hilton Paul probably felt when he visited the Queen City earlier this month.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul's 19-year-old son was arrested Jan. 5 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and charged with consuming alcohol underage, disorderly conduct at an airport, and being intoxicated and disruptive. His most recent charge - perhaps his most serious - is assaulting a woman.
The 2016 presidential hopeful's son - and grandson of libertarian cult hero and former presidential candidate Ron Paul - assaulted a 22-year-old US Airways flight attendant after being woken up from a nap upon arrival to Charlotte. Jessica Stutzman, who lives in Quakertown, Penn., a small burough about 30 miles north of Philidelphia, was not injured and is believed to have returned to work shortly after the incident. Calls to Stutzman's house were not returned.
While police will not comment on whether they know how or where Paul was served alcohol, it was not inside of Charlotte's airport, as the University of Kentucky student was already intoxicated on arrival. US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr insists he was not served on the plane, either.
"There were initial reports following the incident that he was served on the flight from Kentucky," Mohr said. "I can say with confidence that he was not served on the flight, and he slept through all beverage service."
All four charges against Paul are misdemeanors. He is scheduled to appear in court in Charlotte on Feb. 25. While it seems that Paul has escaped any serious or federal charges, the incident is still being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
"The FAA is investigating whether a passenger interfered with a flight attendant on US Airways 4003," the agency wrote in a statement.
The FAA hands out civil penalties when a Federal Aviation Regulation is violated, with $50,000 being the maximum penalty. It is unlikely Paul will face anything near that for the incident in early January.
In March, a woman was arrested after attacking flight attendants on a US Airways flight from Charlotte to Fort Myers, Fla., when they refused to serve her a drink. Peggy S. Albedhady-Sanchez, 50, was charged with three counts of battery and one count of interference with a flight crew, a federal offense.
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