DETROIT - A former Northwest Airlines flight attendant was charged with assault for allegedly putting a prescription depressant in a toddler's apple juice to stop her crying on an international flight.
Daniel Reed Cunningham, 33, also was charged Thursday with distributing a controlled substance on the Aug. 25 flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Arraignment was set for Tuesday for Cunningham, who is not in custody, the U.S. attorney's office said.
The girl's mother, Beate Turner, told FBI (news - web sites) special agent Terry Booth that Cunningham seemed upset when her 19-month-old daughter became restless and began squirming and crying on the flight. Cunningham offered the apple juice three times before Turner accepted, according to the agent's affidavit. The girl suffered no serious injury.
Turner later noticed the juice was bitter and foamy and had blue and white specks floating in it. Ten days after the flight, she took the juice to University Laboratories in Novi, which confirmed the presence of Xanax, a prescription medication used to treat panic attacks and anxiety, the FBI said.
The drug's side effects include lightheadedness, fatigue and drowsiness. The Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) hasn't approved it for children, the agency said.
Cunningham has denied drugging the child in statements to the FBI. He did not return a telephone message left Friday at a listing for him, and his attorney, Neil Fink, declined comment.
Cunningham also has been charged with importing more than 100 tablets of a non-narcotic controlled substance into the United States on a different flight in October. The tablets included Xanax and Valium.
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Turner later noticed the juice was bitter and foamy and had blue and white specks floating in it. Ten days after the flight, she took the juice to University Laboratories in Novi, which confirmed the presence of Xanax
Hmmm. If you notice something suspicious about juice your child is drinking, do you really wait 10 days to check it out.....