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UNF mathematics professor arrested, removed from Boston plane

A UNF mathematics professor was arrested Jan. 3 in Boston after his involvement in a spat with a flight attendant at Logan International Airport who had him removed from the plane.Associate professor Ognjen Milatovic, 37, is charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft and disorderly conduct, Massachusetts state police said.

CBS Boston reported that state police said Milatovic was removed from U.S. Airways Flight 2025 around 8:30 a.m. Monday because he would not take his seat and place his carry-on luggage into an overhead bin after a flight attendant instructed him to do so. Milatovic also refused to turn off his cell phone on the Washington D.C.-bound flight.

Once Milatovic stored his bag in the overhead bin, there was an electronic noise that concerned some of the passengers. According to the Boston Herald, another passenger accused Milatovic of making awkward movements and saying into his cell phone, “I have boarded.” There was nothing suspicious found in his bag, state police said.

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CBS Boston also reported that Milatovic’s father, Boris, said the incident was a big misunderstanding and that his son has a nerve problem in his back and legs that makes it hard for him to sit for long periods of time.

UNF Mathematics and Statistics Chair Scott Hochwald, a coworker of Milatovic, said he found the news shocking and that Milatovic has never had any problems similar to what happened in Boston.

U.S. Airways flight 2025 had 117 passengers on board and was delayed at the gate for almost an hour, Phil Orlandella of Massport told New England Cable News.

The Associated Press reported that Milatovic was arraigned and released Monday afternoon on recognizance bond in East Boston District Court. He will return to court March 15.

Milatovic has taught mathematics and statistics at UNF since 2004. Milatovic is scheduled to teach a Precalculus class as well as “Explorations in Mathematics” for the spring semester.

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  • A

    AnonJan 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I took one of Professor Milatovic’s math classes. He was quite possibly the best math professor I’ve ever had and without a doubt one of the kindest and gentlest people I have ever known in my life.

    And yes, Professor Milatovic does have back issues. This was demonstrated in class several times when a piece of chalk fell to the floor and he told the class he would pick it up later because he had back problems. This is a terrible mistake and a terrible, terrible misunderstanding on the part of the authorities.

    I hope things turn out for the better and I’m deeply sorry he has to go through all this.


  • S

    Sean WillisonJan 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Fellow Ospreys,

    This is getting out of control, we can not allow these gestapo like tactics on the part of the airline and the Mass. State Police to sully our opinion of this great UNF resource. This man has shown great care for his students over the years; moreover he has had a distinguished academic career that UNF has reaped the benefit of for many years now.

    I ask that all of you staff and students alike get behind Professor Milatovic 100% while he endures this, we ought to take his side in this and let him know that we are here for him if he needs us, he has earned it.

    Regards, Sean