Criminal Justice

Former surgeon charged with choking and sexually harassing flight attendants

Former Houston hand surgeon Michael Brown is planning a change of plea on federal charges that he choked a flight attendant and threatened to strip naked on a flight from London to Miami last January.

Brown, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is scheduled for a change of plea and sentencing hearing July 16 in federal court in Miami, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Brown, who founded a national chain of carpal tunnel clinics, lost his medical license in 2006 after testing positive for cocaine use.

He is charged with intimidating and interfering with the duties of a flight attendant, a federal offense, on a British Airways flight from London to Miami on January 2.

According to the allegations, Brown grabbed a flight attendant by the forearm and began making “rude sexual comments” to her about an hour into the flight. When she tried to serve him his in-flight meal, he stood up, put his hands around her neck and began to squeeze. When another flight attendant tried to intervene, Brown grabbed both women around their necks using his forearms.

After the flight crew calmed him down, Brown took his seat and slept for the rest of the flight.

Brown’s lawyer, Robert Hantman, has previously said Brown had suffered a negative reaction after drinking alcohol and taking an insomnia medication on the flight.

Hantman couldn’t be reached on the change-in-plea filing, the Chronicle reports.

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