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Police: Man hits teen over phone dispute on plane

From Scott Thompson, CNN
Russell Miller, 68, was arrested after the plane landed in Boise, Idaho.
Russell Miller, 68, was arrested after the plane landed in Boise, Idaho.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Incident takes place on a flight from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho
  • Suspect says he smacked the boy to get his attention
  • Police say the incident left a mark on the teen's shoulder
  • Police: Man "felt he was protecting the entire plane"

(CNN) -- A 68-year-old Idaho man has been charged with misdemeanor battery after police say he struck a teen who would not turn off his iPhone while the plane they were in was taxiing for takeoff.

The incident took place Tuesday evening on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho, said Lt. Kent Lipple of the Boise police.

The man, Russell Miller, was arrested after the plane landed, Lipple said.

Miller told police that the 15-year-old boy refused to turn off his phone after directions from the flight crew. The suspect "felt he was protecting the entire plane and its occupants," Lipple said.

According to the police report, Miller said he smacked the boy with the back of his hand to get his attention. Officer, however, said the incident left a mark on the boy's shoulder.

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