Altadena, California’s Brian Durning blamed Ambien after assaulting girl on Delta flight from Los Angeles to Orlando?


Brian Patrick Durning, 51, of Altadena, Los Angeles, California, United States is a real estate agent who also runs a fitness company. He flew from Los Angeles to Orlando, Florida, USA on a Delta Air Lines flight on June 24, 2022.

Durning was in an aisle seat directly next to a girl older than 12 but younger than 16. Due to reservation issues, the girl’s mother was seated two rows forward.


After the Delta flight took off, Durning ordered an alcoholic beverage and after consuming the drink, he started to cough and sneeze on the girl. He allegedly touched her hair and neck and she tried to lean away from him when he tried to put his arm around her.

Later, Durning allegedly reached over with his right hand to touch the girl’s inner left thigh, moved her thigh toward him, moved his hand up her inner left thigh toward her groin area and penetrated her over her clothing. A woman sitting on the other side of the girl saw the girl shaking and crying.


The woman put herself between the girl and Durning by switching seats with the girl, notified a flight attendant about what was happening and called for the girl’s mother. When the woman told him not to talk to the girl, he allegedly tried to touch the woman’s breast.

As the mother walked back to confront Durning, she noticed that his pants were unzipped. A flight attendant reassigned seats to remove him from the girl’s presence.

When the Delta plane landed at Orlando International Airport at around 7:30 a.m., Durning was arrested. He told a federal air marshal that he took an Ambien pill and had one glass of white wine during the flight.

Ambien is a prescription medicine for the short-term treatment of adults who have trouble falling asleep. Sold under the brand name Ambien, among others, the nonbenzodiazepine Z drug Zolpidem acts as a sedative and hypnotic.


According to Durning, he fell asleep and the next thing he remembered was someone waking him up and asking him to switch seats. He was charged with committing a crime aboard an aircraft in flight and abusive sexual contact involving young children.

Represented by Nicole Mouakar, Durning surrendered his passport and was released pending trial by a judge that day. He is required to undergo alcohol testing and treatment and be home between 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m..

Also, Durning is prohibited from having contact with minors unless a responsible adult is also present. He has been banned by Delta.


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