Wednesday, September 19, 2018
News Roundup

Man gets probation for in-flight disruption that forced Tampa emergency landing

TAMPA — The plane was rising high above Ft. Lauderdale on its way to Dallas when Colby Isaac Hilleary began to panic. He left his seat, complained to a flight attendant that the plane was heading the wrong way, and knocked on the cockpit door.

"The plane is hijacked and there are no pilots," he proclaimed. As the American Airlines flight crew tried to calm him, he threw punches. Two passengers helped restrain him as the plane made an emergency landing in Tampa.

In a federal courtroom Monday morning, a psychologist told a judge that the March 2 incident was a manifestation of mental illness, and that Hilleary had no rational understanding of what he was doing.

Hilleary, 24, who has since received treatment, apologized before a judge sentenced him to five years probation.

Hilleary pleaded guilty in June to a charge of interference with a flight crew.

"I’m very embarrassed," he said Monday.

Don McMurray, the forensic psychologist who examined the defendant, testified that he had exhibited some signs of mental illness in the months before the incident.

Hilleary had come to Ft. Lauderdale from Texas to work with a crew that did construction and maintenance on yachts. During the job, he became suspicious of his co-workers, accusing them of stealing his work shifts.

The doctor related another incident in which Hilleary, at home in Texas, became paranoid and hallucinated a vision of people standing in his driveway.

The doctor did not mention a specific diagnosis, but said he had ruled out schizophrenia and physiological causes.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday could have given Hilleary jail time, but a prosecutor did not seek such a sentence. The judge ordered Hilleary to continue mental health treatment but also offered words of warning.

"I don’t want you to walk away from here thinking that anybody is stupid," Merryday said.

"You can’t afford any more foolishness. You need to grow up and conduct yourself in a manner befitting an adult."

Comments
Black Business Tour readies to roll on Saturday

Black Business Tour readies to roll on Saturday

The Black Business Bus Tour (BBBT), a non-profit organization that focuses on showcasing and supporting various black-owned businesses throughout Tampa, returns from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept 22), departing from the NFL Yet Center, 3310 E Lake ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Times Staff WriterTampa International Airport was named the fourth-best large airport in the U.S. at keeping travelers satisfied, according to a study by J.D. Power released Wednesday.Meanwhile, the study ranked Orlando International as the country’s...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

UPDATE, 1:14: Cash said this is expected to be the extent of the callups, so that sounds like a no for Wong and the others. … Meadows is understandably of the most interest and Cash said he is excited to see him, but acknowledged it will be a l...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

TAMPA — A sudden boomlet in premium office space is getting boomier as developers detail their plans for the first of three office buildings planned at Midtown Tampa, a $500 million mixed-use development near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway.M...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

UPDATE, 1:09: The Rays are talking a little bit more about the possibilities of making it to the playoffs, RHP Tyler Glasnow sharing a view similar to Snell: "Everybody in this clubhouse is getting ready for  a wild-card game." .. Yarbrough is e...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

She’s going to make it by any means — got a pocket full of dreams — let’s hear it for Brooklyn. This 36-pound, soulful snuggler is a well-mannered maiden, past the puppy stage at age 5, and happily housebroken. She enjoys ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Counter to the national trend, refinancings in the Tampa Bay area increased in the second quarter of this year. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, lenders originated 41 percent more refinancing loans in April, May and June than they did in the same p...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Center Place of Fine Arts benefits from Bet a Buck event

Center Place of Fine Arts benefits from Bet a Buck event

Bet a Buck runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m. today (Sept. 21) at the Center Place of Fine Arts, 619 Vonderburg Drive. Enjoy this live auction for the arts in this fast-moving game of chance. This fun and inexpensive event will allow attendees to buy paddles a...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gilium and how they differ on education; ‘Something fishy’ about a golf-course sale; and more

Top 5 at noon: Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gilium and how they differ on education; ‘Something fishy’ about a golf-course sale; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.HOW ARE RON DESANTIS AND ANDREW GILLUM DIFFERENT? LOOK AT THEIR EDUCATION PLANS.What was once a personal dilemma for Gwen Graham — whether or not to publicly support the family company’s invo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Tapping home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities is a recipe for financial peril. It can work for a while, especially if home prices are rising. Eventually the spigot runs dry, bills pile up and your home can be lost to...
Updated: 1 hour ago