Disruptive passenger appeared to be under influence

23 Mai, 2017, 10:27 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Hawaii jet took off with unruly passenger despite red flags

En route from Los Angeles to Honolulu, 25-year-old Anil Uskanli alarmed passengers and crewmembers while acting "strange", forcing the pilot lock down the flight deck and prompting the U.S. Pacific Command to send two F-22 fighter jets to escort the aircraft into Hawaii.

The FBI initially said the disturbance that Uskanli caused was serious enough for two us warplanes to be scrambled to escort the passenger jet to Hawaii but provided few details of the incident until Monday.

He was charged with interfering with a flight crew, and was scheduled to appear in court Monday.

An American Airlines spokesman said, however, that it was Uskanli who requested the wheelchair at the ticket counter, then went through security and on to the gate for the flight.

His intentions weren't known, and a federal judge in Honolulu on Monday ordered Uskanli return to the US mainland to undergo a competency evaluation.

Federal Public Defender Peter Wolff said he requested the evaluation in part because of the actions described in the criminal complaint and because of comments Uskanli made that Wolff declined to describe.

It's not common practice for police to notify an airline if someone opens a door to a restricted area, like Uskanli did, Los Angeles airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said.

He smelled of alcohol, but he wasn't intoxicated enough to be held for public drunkenness, so police cited and released him.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the US Department of Homeland Security, the State of Hawaii Department of Public Safety Sheriff's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Airport Police.

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"When I asked him if he ever had terroristic thoughts, he responded, 'We all have those ideas, '" an agent wrote in an affidavit.

Because he had walked into the restricted area at the airport and he was determined to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, crew members helped him to the plane using a wheelchair, the complaint said.

Uskanli tried to sit in first class but eventually agreed to sit in his assigned seat in economy.

These were the tense moments as Anil Uskanli, a Turkish national, was talking to himself, banging on a restroom wall and allegedly trying to walk toward the front of the plane before he was escorted back to his seat by an off-duty law enforcement agent.

According to the Complaint, Uskanli again got up from his seat, wrapped a blanket around his head, and took his laptop to the front area of the plane.

The captain implemented emergency measures for a bomb threat, and flight attendants removed the laptop and barricaded it with flight crew bags. The flight attendants were frightened of the laptop, due to recent information about laptops potentially posing a threat to airplane security because such devices may contain explosives. An off-duty law enforcement officer sat with Uskanli for the remainder of the flight, the complaint said.

The aircraft landed safely at HNL at 11:35 a.m. Bomb technicans worked to secure the plane.

In interviews with the FBI, Uskanli was asked if he had "terroristic thoughts". "He then did a gesture simulating a chopping motion toward my neck". He also pointed at her and said, "I'll kill her, get out the following day, and shoot myself". The urinalysis was presumptively positive for benzodiazepine, a tranquilizer, and the field tests indicated possible use of stimulants or cannabis, the complaint said.

FILE- In this May 19, 2017, file image made from video provided by Hawaii News Now, a man who was detained on an American Airlines flight is driven away from the plane after landing in Honolulu.

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