A blind Belgian man who was captured on video getting angry as he was arrested aboard a US Airways plane at Philadelphia International Airport in April will enter a court program for nonviolent offenders, his attorney said yesterday.
Nicola Cantisani, 61, is to enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program and will likely have his arrest record expunged.
"Under the agreement, he only has to come to one hearing . . . and [then] never has to come back to Philadelphia again," attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. said.
A hearing was set yesterday for Cantisani to come to Philadelphia Municipal Court on Oct. 21 to enter into the ARD program before a judge.
Cantisani was not in court yesterday. An associate of Peruto's accepted service for him.
Peruto said afterward that Cantisani is home in Brussels. He said that Cantisani is expected to get six months of non-reporting probation in the ARD program and that his record will be expunged if he doesn't get arrested again.
On April 4, Cantisani and his wife, Paola, were at Philadelphia International to change planes. They were aboard an 8:32 p.m. flight to Brussels.
After the plane sat on the tarmac for some time, passengers were told the flight would be delayed - without explanation, Cantisani has said. Passengers were unable to use phones, receive attendant service or move around.
Cantisani, a professional translator who has been blind since birth, became unruly after complaining to flight attendants and was then taken into custody.
The incident was videotaped by another passenger and posted on YouTube under the heading "Angry Blind Dude."
In one segment, Cantisani is heard angrily complaining to flight attendants that he "would like to get going. All right? Is that clear enough?" He told the attendants "it is now 10 o'clock."
In another segment, Cantisani is heard yelling, "Aaahhhrrr!!!," as Philly police officers hover around him. "Why am I being arrested? . . . Why am I getting cuffed? What is the charge?" he screamed.
"You have no charge against me, OK? So leave me alone!" he yelled. As police were trying to remove him from his seat, Cantisani is heard again screaming.