Winnipeg bodybuilder denied bail

BOB HOLLIDAY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:07 PM ET

A Winnipeg bodybuilder, who had to be forcibly removed from a flight to Winnipeg, was denied bail in a Minneapolis court Friday and will remain in jail until his trial.

Aaron E. James, 30, was arrested Thursday evening after he became agitated on a Northwest Airlines flight to Winnipeg, said cops.

He is charged with two counts of assault and one count of obstructing a legal process. All three charges are felonies.

Witnesses claimed James was pacing in the aisle and refused to take his seat in preparation for takeoff from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

During his appearance on Friday, court was told that James stood up while the Airbus 320 was backing away from the gate and began yelling at a flight attendant, accusing her of being a racist.

HEAD-BUTTED COP

The captain ordered the plane back to the gate where four police officers asked James to collect his personal belongings and leave the aircraft.

Court was also told James squared off with an officer and head-butted the cop. The officer needed 12 stitches to close a cut on his head.

He also suffered a chipped tooth.

Two police officers used their Taser guns to subdue James, said investigators.

James told police he was a professional bodybuilder, but the president of the Manitoba Amateur Body Building Association, Tom Heffner, said the accused was not a member of the Canadian Body Building Federation sanctioning body.

James was turned away from his last attempt to compete locally when he failed to show up for the weigh-in and then refused to stand on the scale the day of the competition, said Heffner.

"He is not a member of our association," said Heffner.

James, who was returning to Winnipeg following treatment at Mayo Clinic for a tendon injury, was remanded in custody. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to nine years in prison and a $19,000 fine.


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