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Flight Attendant Charged with Spiking Toddler's Juice

 
 
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 03:06 pm
Quote:
Flight attendant accused of drugging tot
From the National Desk
Published 3/14/2003 2:25 PM

DETROIT, March 14 (UPI) -- A Northwest Airlines flight attendant has been charged with spiking a crying toddler's apple juice with a crushed prescription anti-depressant on a trans-Atlantic flight last August.
Beate Turner, the child's mother, had the juice tested because it was bitter, foamy and had blue specks floating in it. The liquid tested positive for Xanax, a medication prescribed for panic attacks, anxiety and some symptoms of depression.

Federal prosecutors charged Daniel Reed Cunningham of Ann Arbor with assault for allegedly drugging the 19-month-old child who was restless and crying aboard Northwest Flight 47 from Amsterdam to Detroit. He also was charged with distributing a controlled substance.

In October he was charged with bringing more than 100 tablets of Xanax and Valium into the United States in his luggage on flight from India.
Cunningham, 33, quit his job in December and denied any wrongdoing through his lawyer. Arraignment is scheduled in U.S. District Court next week.

"Our standard procedures for flight attendants do not include prescribing medication unless it is through the assistance of a physician with our in-flight emergency services," Northwest spokeswoman Mary Stanik told Friday's Detroit Free Press.

Xanax is not approved for pediatric use.
Turner said toddler took a few sips of the juice but was not injured. She decided to have it tested and poured it into sippy container.



Link to Drugged Juice Story

When I saw this story I was absolutely horrified. Besides the crimes with which the flight attendant was charged, I shudder to think what might have happened to the child. What if he overdosed, and suffered brain damage? Seems to me that this flight attendant should be charged with depraved indifference. What do you all think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,751 • Replies: 22
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gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 03:24 pm
I agree totally Phoenix. They should throw the book at him!
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 03:39 pm
while i have never heard of "depraved indifference" i think i would go for felony reckless endangerment of a child just as a starter.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 04:31 pm
Whoa! She says, having just flown on Northwest with a toddler... (who was however, thankfully, quite angelic for the duration.)

Scary stuff.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 04:39 pm
dyslexia- I think that I went a bit overboard when I cited "depraved indifference". It is usually used in instances where there is death or grave personal injury. I was so angry when I read this story, I would have wrung that flight attendant's neck! Here's an example of what I was talking about:


Link to "depraved indifference"
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 04:46 pm
thanks for the link Phoenix i had never heard of that charge, but having more than a few years in the juvenile court system i know how very important the specific charge filed is.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 04:55 pm
Is the flight attendant mentally sane at all? What for did he want to poison a kid?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 04:57 pm
He ain't right in the head, that's for sure. But I'm thinking Amsterdam-> Detroit is a pretty long flight, and he wanted to do something to calm down the yelly kid.

<shaking head>
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:03 pm
There are procedures for this type of thing. What I understand is it is usually that a kid can not get the pressure adjusted in their heads and there are certain things that can be done that will do it. We all know methods, such as sticking your thumb in your mouth and blowing or yawning, etc. I know it can be a problem, but that flight attendant just went one step to far. Overdose, allergic reaction, death - all possibilities!
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:06 pm
sozobe- I don't care if the kid was yelling his blooming head off all across the Atlantic. There are a number of issues in this case:

*A flight attendant is not licensed to dispense medication.

* The parent was not consulted, and even if they approved, the attendant still was not legally able to dispense the medication.

* The medication given is not approved for children.

I have been pissed off many times on account of kids screaming in movie theatres and planes. I would never dream of slipping the child a dangerous medication.

In addition to everything else, the flight attendant should be charged with child abuse!

I think that if you have a small child, and will be travelling by plane on a long trip, it might pay to be proactive and consult with the child's pediatrician. He might be able to prescribe something to relax the child BEFORE problems start!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:08 pm
BillW, I doubt it's as simple as alleviating pressure -- my flight was 1.5 hours and I had to be way proactive to keep the kiddo happy. I absolutely shudder to think of how difficult a flight that long could be.

Not to excuse the dunderhead one bit. And so happy that the mom was aware enough to a) not let the kid drink the juice and b) save it for testing.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:16 pm
I understand where you are coming from. I had a flight (about 1.5 hours) where a kid yelled its head off for the entire trip - right behind me. It would hush for a little while, then fire back up again. I was a nervous wreck when I got off the plane. But, not as bad as the Mom. I know she was going through a lot a guilt, I felt sorry for her. As you said also, had to be way proactive - lots of work!

Didn't mean to make it sound so easy, I know it isn't.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:21 pm
He should have just whispered "I'm a real angel. The angel of death. If you don't stop crying, I'm going to kill Santa."

The kid would have had nothing to cry about then, without the need of those risky drugs.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:23 pm
Removed by poster.......
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:25 pm
Kewl picture.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:30 pm
Removed by poster........
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 05:33 pm
Slappy- Fun is fun, but I don't appreciate your twisted humor in this particular circumstance!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:15 pm
I'd be much happier if they had separate sections for people with kids, or sound-proof booths for those travelling without them. I'm sometimes amazed that more violence isn't done to either the parents or children. I've stayed at a few hotels that had child-free zones. I'd love to have the option of flying that way without having to win a lottery.

I don't think the attendant, if he is found to be the at-fault party, was right to spike the juice, but, well, an Amsterdam-Detroit trip would be bad enough at the best of times.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:19 pm
Phoenix, I missed your post until now (interestingly enough, since I said similar things in my post of about the same time), and hope it's clear that I wasn't excusing the attendant one bit. I was responding to steissd's confusion.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Mar, 2003 06:28 am
Soz- Thanks for clearing that one up. I know how devoted you are to the Sozlet, and when I saw your remark.............. Shocked
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