A Dyersburg, Tennessee resident was sentenced to 11 years in prison for causing a Delta airline flight to make an emergency landing due to his excessive farting.
The incident occurred in June of 2014. When Zack Tillim, 32, boarded flight 2710 thinking he would make the 4 hour trip to Los Angeles, Ca without incident. About 30 minutes into the flight Mr. Tillim states he began to feel bubbling in his belly. He was in the rest room for over 30 minutes when the flight attendant asked him to come out as others had to use the facilities. Upon taking his seat, several farts were heard and smelt as he walked down the aisle. Passengers began to ring for the crew and complain about the smell. Things got heated when a flight attendant wanted to see if the woman sitting next to Mr. Tillim wanted a beverage but the woman would not wake up. One by one passengers began to pass out. The pilot released the oxygen mask and radioed the tower that an emergency landing was needed.
Over 100 witnesses testified at the trial making it very easy for the jury to decide Mr. Tillims fate in the 20 minutes they took to deliberate. The pilot stated "I began to hear screams from the cabin. Then Melissa banging on the cockpit door. I could smell a faint scent coming from under the door. The screams coming from the cabin was unbearable. Melissa was screaming she couldn't breathe, just let her get some air. But I knew if I opened the door we would all perish. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make."
Melissa, a flight crew attendant, "I was losing oxygen. Just gasping for air. I must have gone delirious. I tried to open the door. I knew it would cause me to get sucked out. But death seemed like a better option."
During the ordeal 16 passengers had to be hospitalized, including one man who jumped out of the plane before the emergency slide was fully deployed. One lady stated she could still smell it on her skin a year later.
Against his lawyers wishes Mr. Tillim took the stand. He claimed he was relocating to California and wanted to enjoy his favorite dish Louisiana Red Beans and Rice before his move. He had the meal 5 days straight at the Hav Sommo Café's all you can eat buffet, including for lunch before his flight.
Mr. Tillim was found guilty of 2nd Degree aggravated assault.
In the precedent setting sentencing, the judge stated he wanted to make an example of Mr. Tillim. "This type of intentional and deliberate act against others cannot be tolerated. It is unfathomable to consume that amount of beans and not think of those who would be in the path of your release. I can only hope that you are placed in the cell of one who has committed an equally heinous crime. Only then can true justice be served."
In his final statement. Mr. Tillim apologized and stated he would appeal the sentence as he felt it was excessive. He also stated he hoped the cooks in the prison knew how to make Red Beans and Rice.