Friends of Matt Garner will be interested in his latest adventure. Matt presently is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Software Engineer at ReadyMicro, Inc. He has been involved in other genealogy-related businesses in the past. His profile is available on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewgarner, and I have mentioned him a couple of times in past newsletters at http://goo.gl/kYOOs
This week Matt flew from the United States to London to attend the "Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE!”conference. A couple of hours after take-off, a drunken Russian seated a few seats away from Matt started having an argument with a flight attendant. I am not sure of all the details on how it started, but the inebriated Russian soon knocked the 58-year-old flight attendant to the floor. Matt decided to step in.
Anyone who knows Matt Garner knows that he is a short man, I'm guessing maybe five feet four inches. The Russian was described as a "big burly guy." A tussle ensued. The rather modest Matt Garner later told me, "I think I really slowed him down when he placed my head in a headlock under his arm." Actually, I think Matt must have done a bit more than that; but, when I asked, he wouldn't divulge all the details.
Whatever the series of events, Matt held the drunken Russian and kept him away from the stewardess long enough for three on-board air marshals to reach the fighting men. Together, all four of them wrestled the Russian to the floor and he was soon handcuffed by the air marshalls.
The Russian spent the next eight hours in a very uncomfortable position with his arms handcuffed behind him and strapped to the seat with air marshalls beside and behind him. He was met at Gatwick Airport by police who promptly hustled him off to jail.
Meanwhile, Matt Garner was given a very comfortable seat in business class for the remainder of the flight.
After landing, Matt also was met by police, who hustled him off the plane to a hero's welcome. He was whisked past customs and immigration without stopping, and then escorted to a private room where he was asked to fill out some written reports. The captain of the plane soon appeared along with airline officials, and then the air marshals also joined in. The airline upgraded Matt's return flight to first class and awarded him with a large number of frequent flyer miles to be used as he wishes. The pilot and air marshalls offered their thanks.
Finally, the London police provided a police escort, with sirens blaring, to Matt's hotel.
The next time I fly across the Atlantic, I want to be on the same plane as Matt. I'll feel safer.