KQED reporter Mina Kim today spoke with San Mateo County Chief Deputy DA Stephen Wagstaffe about the DeShon Marman case. Marman, a graduate of Lincoln High in San Francisco, is the 20-year-old college football player who was removed from a US Airways flight at SFO because he allegedly ignored an airline employee’s request to pull up sweatpants hanging low enough to expose his underwear.

Chief Deputy DA Wagstaffe explained that Marman has not yet been charged with any crime and that prosecutors will be reviewing the case between now and the July 18 arraignment. He said his office had asked for additional accounts of the incident from airline personnel and passengers.

Police took Marman into custody on suspicion of three crimes: battery on a police officer, a felony, and resisting arrest and trespassing, both misdemeanors. He faces up to four years in state prison on the battery charge, and one year and six months, respectively, in a county jail for resisting arrest and trespassing.

Wagstaffe said he had seen cases arising from confrontations at security checkpoints, but couldn’t remember ever prosecuting one stemming from a problem on the plane itself.

Interestingly enough, at the end of the interview, the chief deputy DA volunteered the following:

“We’re not deciding how somebody wears their clothing is a crime. Because it’s not. What we’re deciding is whether or not there was an interaction that occurred (where) there was conduct by Mr. Marman that violated the laws in his dealing with the police and with the personnel there. That’s what we’re looking at. This has nothing to do with whether it’s inappropriate for somebody to wear their clothing in a certain way. That’s not of interest to us.”

Listen to the interview

Mina Kim also spoke to Andrew Christie, a spokesman for U.S. Airways, about the incident. Here’s an edited transcript:

Is it a policy of U.S. Airways to remove people from planes for wearing pants that expose their underwear?

(In) this particular incident, the individual was removed from the aircraft after repeatedly ignoring crewmember instructions.

What was the safety concern related to his attire?

The safety concern was repeatedly ignoring the crew members’ instructions.

How does that become a safety issue?

The safety of all our passengers and employees is our top priority and it’s important to adhere to crewmember instuctions, which is paramount in ensuring a safe and comfortable traveling environment.

Regardless of the content of the instruction, you mean?

That’s correct.

There’s been some question about your policy, whether it is an explicit policy about attire?

US Airways does not have a specific dress code. But we do ask our customers to dress in an appropriate manner to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our passengers.

Where is that written?

We don’t have a specific dress code.

When you say you ask passengers, where is that ask made?

I’ll have to find that out for you and let you know.

Listen to the interview

Interviews With Deputy DA and US Airways Spokesman on Sagging Pants Case 19 June,2011Jon Brooks

  • krsitina

    EVERYONE should read this article. http://hitdanback.com/us-airways-supported-this-dude-boarding-a-plane/
    If US Airways is going to kick Deshon Marman off of his flight and ask him to pull up his pants, they are being complete hypocrites for letting this http://hitdanback.com/us-airways-supported-this-dude-boarding-a-plane/man on a flight. Not only that, they supported him when other passengers were supported. Unbelievable.

  • Mike

    The safety concern was repeatedly ignoring the crew members’ instructions????????

    Regardless of the content of the instruction, you mean? <— This is the real problem!!!

    If a crew member "instructed" me to sing a song with them, and I refused.. then in the name of safety I can be removed from an aircraft and arrested because I ignored a crew members instructions? In the name of SAFETY????

    USAir, more importantly its employees, need to pull their head out of their you know whats!! Don't use safety to try to justify some flight attendants big headed personal intrusion. We are not talking about indecent exposure, we are talking about exposure of his boxer shorts… they are made from the same material that the rest of our clothing is made from.. so who really cares, and where is the safety issue?

    Most importantly.. if you do not like how someone dresses ( and they are dressed legally ) the simple solution is… DONT LOOK AT THEM!!!

  • Mike

    Gosh, the young man is in a jam now. He allegedly resisted arrest and hurt the police officer. He could be charged with a felony. If the young man wants to he can where his pants down in the prison yard without anyone picking on him.

    • trashlady

      I think you know he did not assault or batter the officer. The officer lied.
      most of them are lying criminals. they always add that charge incase the others don’t stick,

  • Phillip Adams

    Here is how we solve this problem, Boycott US Airways, tell all your friends boycott US Airways. Until, they fire the pilot and flight attendant, apologize to DeShon Marman, and ensure that he is not charged with any crime.

    • trashlady

      I’m with you. Most pilots are republican tea party, birthers. I work with them. i know.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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