DA won't file charges against saggy pants flier

July 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
ABC7 has learned the San Mateo County district attorney has decided not to file charges against a college student from the Bay Area arrested after allegedly refusing to pull up his pants as he boarded a flight at San Francisco International Airport.

While the official announcement is expected to be made on Wednesday, Deshon Marman and his family celebrated Tuesday night when they heard the news.

"My first reaction was... I was ecstatic. It was all unfortunate what happened in the past. Once again, I do want to apologize to the members of Flight No. 488," Marman said via a Skype interview with ABC7. "I don't think I was dressing offensive to anybody. The way a person chooses to dress personally shouldn't have anything to do with anybody. There's a lot of things I could have done differently, but it happened in the past and I'm ready to move forward."

Earlier on Tuesday, Marman's supporters rallied at San Francisco City Hall and asked the San Francisco Board of Supervisor to join in with a resolution calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the incident.

More than 100 community activists, religious leaders and youngsters attended the noon rally to support 20-year-old Marman. The NAACP said Marman's only crime as a U.S. Airways passenger was being black with baggy pants.

"You say you want his to be pants pulled up? We say to you too, pull up justice in this land," the Rev. Amos Brown said.

Most of the anger was directed at U.S. Airways, which yanked the University of New Mexico football player off a flight at SFO June 15. The airline's gate agent told Marman to pull up his pants after complaining that they were sagging below his knees.

"My pants were actually not below my knees," Marman said.

Marman told ABC7 in an exclusive interview that crewmembers repeatedly harassed him even after he pulled up his pajama pants when he got to his seat. The captain made a citizen's arrest after calling police. Marman was jailed on a charge of trespassing.

The controversy escalated after a passenger released photographs showing that U.S. Airways allowed a man on an earlier flight dressed in women's lingerie.

That picture was prominently displayed on t-shirts worn by rally participants Tuesday.

"If this is the proper attire for U.S. Airways, why was Deshon even asked in the first place, why are we even here protesting for his name to be cleared?" Geoffrea Morris said.

Deshon's mother thanked the crowd for their support.

"The humiliation that U.S. Airways has brought upon my son and my family is unacceptable," Donna Doyle said.

Tuesday afternoon, Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced a resolution calling for the FAA to investigate the incident. She is also asking the airline to implement a uniform dress code for its passengers to prevent future incidents.

"When a person purchases their ticket, they understand what's going on and what will be expected of them," Cohen said.

Supervisors will vote on the measure next week.

ABC7 has learned U.S. Airways has offered Marman's family what would essentially be free passes for flights between San Francisco and New Mexico and had also offered to help get the trespassing charge dropped. US Airways denies that they have made this offer to Marman and his family.

ABC7 reporter John Alston contributed to this report.


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