He Messed With the Wrong Flight Attendant

Lorin Gorman is a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do

By Michelle Wayland and Greg Bledsoe
|  Monday, Feb 8, 2010  |  Updated 12:29 PM PDT
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A passenger high on medical marijuana picked the wrong woman to freak out on.

A passenger high on medical marijuana picked the wrong woman to freak out on.

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A San Francisco man, accused of forcing a flight to divert because he was high on medical marijuana, picked the wrong flight attendant to freak out on.

Lorin Gorman of Chula Vista is a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Those skills may have averted a serious situation in the air.   

US-Air flight 1447 was on its way from Philadelphia to San Francisco.

Gorman, 51, says she noticed Kinman Chan, 30, early in the flight. "He was looking back at me, waving hi," Gorman said of the man in seat 17-C. 

But soon enough, the passenger became aggressive, Gorman says. "He's banging around, screaming in the back bathroom, he's opened all the compartments," the attendant remembers.

According to a criminal complaint, Chan walked out of the bathroom with his pants down.

"I said, ‘You need to sit down now’,” Gorman said.

He did not. "He went like that with his elbow," Gorman said, bracing her wrist as she threw an elbow at shoulder height. "Well, what I did, I just put him in an arm lock.  To get his other arm, I had to jump up on the seat … He was resisting.  He was stiff. At that point, I just put him into a choke hold."

The plane was diverted to Pittsburgh where Chan was arrested. He told police he'd taken a double dose of his medicinal marijuana, eating two pot cookies before the flight.

"After 911, I took special training with my grand master to learn how to deal with small spaces and also what to look for in passengers," Gorman said. "I'm glad I was there."

Kinman Chan was charged with disrupting a flight attendant, which can carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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