Criminal charges were dropped Wednesday against University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman over a confrontation with police last month after he was thrown off a US Airways plane at San Francisco International Airport for wearing sagging pajama pants.
Hours after the charges were dropped, his attorney said Marman plans to sue the airline over how he was treated.
The San Mateo County district attorney said Marman will not face charges for allegedly resisting arrest and injuring a cop during the June 15 incident.
“We do not believe that criminal charges are warranted in light of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a released statement.
Marman, a 20-year-old San Francisco native, has faced “a great deal of adversity” and public embarrassment that could have been avoided had US Airways attempted to resolve the dispute, said his attorney, Joe O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan told The San Francisco Examiner the airline has not apologized for the dispute and has yet to reimburse Marman for the $500 flight he missed that day.
Marman was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing after a member of the flight crew at SFO asked him to pull up his pants. According to O’Sullivan, Marman told the fight attendant his hands were full and he would adjust his pants when he found his seat on the Albuquerque, N.M.-bound flight.
When he sat down, police said the flight captain argued with Marman about the pants for 10 minutes and told him to leave the plane. When Marman was arrested, he allegedly scuffled with San Francisco police officers.
US Airways shot back Wednesday, saying the situation would have been resolved more quickly had Marman acted differently.
Marman’s supporters allege he was targeted because he is a young black man. They pointed to the apparent incongruity of US Airways allowing a white man to travel wearing nothing but purple lingerie six days before Marman’s incident.
On Tuesday, outrage erupted on the steps of City Hall as nearly 200 people charged US Airways with racism.
“You say you want the pants pulled up,” the Rev. Amos Brown said from the podium. “We say, pull up justice in America.”
Donna Doyle, Marman’s mother, said she was contacted by US Airways and offered a free flight to see her son, but she declined. Doyle said she is offended the company has not apologized.
US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said Tuesday the airline was talking with Brown and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People regarding the case.
Attorney Joe O’Sullivan said Deshon Marman is “elated” with the district attorney’s decision not to press charges. O’Sullivan said his client has no beef with San Francisco cops.
“I think it singles US Airways out as a villain,” O’Sullivan said.
US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said the airline hopes the decision “helps Mr. Marman and his family move past this incident.”
However, Christie said Marman “could have resolved the situation more quickly.”
He said the airline stands behind the flight crew’s actions.
“The crew acted professionally in dealing with this important situation,” Christie said.
Marman’s aunt Sheila Burton said Wednesday her nephew was calm and composed on the plane.
“Barack Obama couldn’t have been more composed than my nephew was,” Burton said. “He did not pose a threat to anybody. For God’s sake, he had just buried his best friend.”
Marman had been flying back to New Mexico after attending the funeral of David Henderson, a former Lincoln High school football teammate who was shot to death in the Bayview district in May.