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MailTribune.com
  • Saudi Arabian to face Ashland charges after federal plea

  • A 19-year-old Saudi Arabian who rammed two Ashland police cars in February, then was arrested for causing a disturbance on a plane in Portland two days later, is headed back to Jackson County to face local charges after pleading guilty to the federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.
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  • A 19-year-old Saudi Arabian who rammed two Ashland police cars in February, then was arrested for causing a disturbance on a plane in Portland two days later, is headed back to Jackson County to face local charges after pleading guilty to the federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.
    Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland, where District Judge Marco Hernandez sentenced Abunayyan to time served and ordered him to pay a $100 fine.
    Multnomah County Jail records indicate Abunayyan was released this morning and is headed back to Jackson County, where he will face multiple charges of criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated and reckless endangerment stemming from the Feb. 19 incident in Ashland.
    Abunayyan, who family members say suffers from schizophrenia and hadn't been taking his medication for weeks before he was arrested, led Ashland police on a low-speed chase before ramming two police cars. After his arrest, he posted bail and signed an agreement that he would remain in the state until his next court appearance.
    But on Feb. 21, Abunayyan boarded a Continental Airlines flight in Portland bound for Houston. It was forced to return to the Portland International Airport 30 minutes later after Abunayyan caused a disturbance when a flight attendant asked him to extinguish an electronic cigarette.
    Court records show he yelled obscenities, tried to hit two passengers and mentioned Osama bin Laden before he was subdued.
    A Jackson County grand jury on Feb. 28 indicted Abunayyan on 14 charges, including one count of attempting to elude, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, three counts of second-degree criminal mischief, failure to perform the duties of a driver when property is damaged, driving under the influence of intoxicants, five counts of recklessly endangering another person, and contempt of court for violating his bail agreement.
    — Staff reports
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