3 LIers charged following near-riot at Fort Lauderdale airport

Posted: Updated:
22-year-old Desmond Waul, of Selden 22-year-old Desmond Waul, of Selden
24-year-old Janice Waul, of Brentwood 24-year-old Janice Waul, of Brentwood
22 year-old Davante Garrett, of Brentwood 22 year-old Davante Garrett, of Brentwood
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA -

Police say three Long Islanders are accused of starting a near-riot at Fort Lauderdale's airport after Spirit Airlines canceled nine flights, leading to chaos in its terminal.

Sheriff's reports released Tuesday say 22-year-old Desmond Waul, of Selden, and 24-year-old Janice Waul and 22 year-old Davante Garrett, both of Brentwood, were seen by deputies threatening the airline's front counter employees.

According to the Broward Sheriff's officer, about 500 people were crowded into Spirit's terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport late Monday night after the airline canceled the flights because there were no pilots.

Deputies said their actions caused the crowd to become increasingly aggressive to the point of near-violence and that they wouldn't leave when ordered. When deputies tried to arrest them, they said the three threatened them and resisted efforts to handcuff them.

The three are charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing. They were being held Tuesday at the Broward jail in lieu of $10,000 bond each. 

The discount airline says pilots are refusing to pick up open flying assignments, which Spirit claims is an illegal and concerted plot by the Air Line Pilots Association to apply pressure during contract negotiations. It has filed a lawsuit, saying it has had to cancel about 300 flights nationally and internationally over the past week because of the union's actions. Another 36 were canceled Tuesday.
                
Federal District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas issued a temporary restraining order against the union Tuesday, ordering its member pilots to not engage in any boycotts or slowdown, saying that would violate federal law.
                
Spirit spokesman Paul Berry issued a statement apologizing to customers and saying the company is "shocked and saddened" by the Fort Lauderdale melee.

The union has denied the accusation, but said in a statement that its members will obey the judge's order with the goal of helping Spirit resume normal operations.

Long-time neighbors on Orient Avenue in Brentwood say Garrett comes from a nice family. 

AP News Wire Services were used in this report. 

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