American Airlines passenger detained after in-flight disturbance

American Airlines passenger detained after in-flight disturbance

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.

Police say a man who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu had been arrested hours before his flight for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp at Los Angeles International Airport. Subsequently the crew, in assistance with several passengers, including an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer, forcibly escorted the man back to his seat, where they used duct tape, pillows and blankets to secure him to his seat. Federal agents were sent to wait for the plane and two F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled to meet the plane.

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. Airport Police investigated and determined Uskanil had been drinking but did not meet the criteria for drunk in public. "Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground", said Commander Dave Benham, without elaborating on the nature of the disturbance or name of the airline.

"Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu", one Instagram user wrote.

As the suspect approached the drink cart at the rear of first class, the flight attendant in economy told him, "Sir, please stop".

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Although police are still trying to determine a motive for the cause, the man reportedly headed into the first class cabin with a blanket over his head in what flight crew believed was meant to be a breach of the cockpit door.

"It was all kind of surreal", said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight told HNN.

"She jammed the cart in that the doorway and she just said, 'You're not coming in here, '" Lorenzen said. "He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him". They found some duct tape.

Airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said Saturday that Anil Uskanli opened the door and walked up to a contractor early Friday to ask where he could get some food.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the incident, according to a statement from the department. Although he was arrested, appeared intoxicated and charged with misdemeanor trespassing, he was also released from custody in time to board the flight to Honolulu.

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