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One Arrested In Scuffle After Eastern Bumps 200

March 7, 1988

MIAMI (AP) _ A crowd of 200 Eastern Airlines passengers who had been bumped from New York-bound flights angrily confronted ticket agents, and one man was arrested for assaulting police officers, authorities said.

Several similar scuffles have occurred at Miami International Airport in recent months when Eastern flights to the Northeast were cancelled.

The latest incident took place at the airport Sunday when members of the crowd pressed against a ticket stand demanding to know if they could board the last flight to New York.

One passenger went behind the stand and punched an Eastern employee in the chest, said Metro-Dade police Lt. Robert Otero.

Three officers struggled with the man, and one policeman fell to the ground after hitting his leg on a trash can, said Otero.

Police arrested Jack Lemonik, 36, of New York City, on charges of simple battery, aggravated battery and resisting arrest with violence, said Metro- Dade police spokesman James Wright.

Passengers shouted angrily at police during the struggle with Lemonik, said Curt Arnel, 30, an attorney from Merrick, N.Y.

Eastern spokesman Bob Carson said 226 passengers were bumped from a 3:15 p.m. Eastern flight to La Guardia. Some passengers were then bumped repeatedly from later flights.

Carson had no immediate explanation why so many people were bumped from one flight. One previous incident occurred when numerous passengers were bumped after a large jet was replaced by a small one.

Many of the bumped passengers were unable to board the last flight and were put up for the night in hotels, said Eastern spokeswoman Karen Ceremsak.

Update hourly