A man has been arrested after causing a disturbance on an American Airlines flight to Honolulu, after his fellow passengers became so concerned about his actions that they duct taped him to his seat mid-journey.
The passenger, identified as 25-year-old Anil Uskanil, had previously been arrested after a worker at Los Angeles International Airport claimed to have seen him walk through a security door in the terminal, towards an airfield ramp.
In a statement to the media, police claimed that Uskanil had been drinking but did not meet the criteria for public drunkenness; he was given a court appearance notice for misdemeanour trespassing and then released.
After boarding his flight in the early hours of the morning, the man’s fellow passengers noted that he looked “dishevelled”, and he allegedly sat in a number of first class seats before being moved to his own near the back of the plane.
Eyewitnesses say that at one point, he retrieved a laptop that he had left in a seat-back pocket in the first class cabin, and he was later seen walking towards the front of the plane, carrying the device.
“He was very quiet, moving very sluggish,” a fellow passenger told The Associated Press. “He was trying to approach the cabin, like where the captain is.”
Laptops are not currently banned on U.S. domestic flights, but have been outlawed in carry-on baggage from a number of international destinations, over security concerns.
A flight attendant reportedly became concerned about Uskanil’s behaviour and proceeded to block the aisle with a drinks cart, telling him “you’re not coming in here.”
Eyewitnesses say that he attempted to push past the cart, at which point, several passengers grabbed him from behind and lashed him to his seat with duct tape, where he remained for the rest of the journey.
A pair of F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard were scrambled, and went to meet the plane, escorting it to Honolulu, where the passenger was led off in handcuffs.
— Shanell Wolslagel (@SJWolslagel) May 20, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security has said that all U.S. flights will be monitored as “a matter of caution” after the incident, but no further disturbances have been reported.
Source: Chicago Tribune.
Photo: John Gress / Getty.