Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Unruly man on LA-to-Hawaii flight subdued by passengers, flight attendants


Federal agents have met an American Airlines plane from Los Angeles when it landed in Honolulu and detained a man who had tried to get into the cockpit during the flight.

The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Anil Uskanil, 25, of Turkey, was duct-taped to his seat until the plane landed in Honolulu and federal agents boarded the plane and arrested him, passenger Lee Lorenzen said.

The incident prompted Pacific Command to dispatch a pair of F-22 fighter jets to intercept the passenger plane.

American Airlines says there were 191 passengers and 6 crew members on the plane, which landed around 11:30 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 31 had 181 passengers and six crew members aboard, said airline spokeswoman Katie Cody, who did not provide details on the incident.

Crewmembers and an off-duty Honolulu police officer subdued a Turkish man after he attempted to break down the cockpit door after the flight departed Los Angeles International Airport on Friday at 8:34am local time, HawaiiNewsNow reported.

The attendant then took off down the aisle with her cart to block the passenger from advancing, saying: "You're not coming in here". Passengers took video of him being taken off the plane in handcuffs.

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She lost sight of the suspect, but Lorenzen told KITV and CNN affiliate KGMB/KHNL the man was duct-taped to a seat.

Police at Los Angeles International Airport said the suspect had been detained at LAX after breaching a secure area of the airport. He was arrested before dawn at Los Angeles International Airport for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp, according to Los Angeles Airport Police, who provided Uskanils identity to The Associated Press.

Airline says they do not know of any injuries.

Police say Uskanil had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria for public drunkenness. "Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground".

Also, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said passengers were escorted off the plane and interviewed as part of the agency's ongoing probe into the incident. "Uskanil was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing, cited, given a pending court date and released from custody". Uskanil was a ticketed passenger on an American Airlines flight, and had gone through TSA screening.

A Homeland Security tweet says there are no other reports of disruptions to flights, but the department continues to "monitor all flights out of an abundance of caution".

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