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updated: 8/21/2012 5:18 PM

Chicago man accused of prompting JetBlue emergency landing

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Associated Press

DENVER -- A Chicago man is accused of groping a pregnant woman and refusing to follow crew instructions on a JetBlue flight, prompting the plane to make an emergency landing in Denver.

Marcus Covington was advised in federal court Tuesday that he faces a charge of interfering with the duties of a flight crew and flight attendant.

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Authorities allege the 32-year-old was intoxicated and groped the pregnant woman as he waited for the bathroom while on the Los Angeles-bound flight from New York late Sunday.

Federal prosecutors say Covington refused a flight attendant's request to stay seated, prompting the crew to ask an FBI agent on the plane to intervene. Covington sat between the agent and another passenger until the plane landed.

Covington was appointed a public defender, who declined to comment.

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