American Airlines passenger detained after in-flight disturbance

Posted May 20, 2017

Two U.S. fighter jets were summoned Friday to escort a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii after an unruly man was subdued by passengers and flight attendants, who used a drink cart to block him from the front of the plane.

Federal authorities were preparing a criminal complaint to charge Turkish national Anil Uskanil, 25, with interference with a flight crew, Federal Bureau of Investigation special-agent-in charge Paul Delacourt said at a Honolulu news conference.

The man is said to have been waiting near the bathroom when a flight attendant requested he take his seat. They are now taking us off the plane a few rows at a time for dog sniffing and interviews. He was escorted off American Airlines Flight 31, after it landed safely at 11:35 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, according to a statement from the airline. Airport Police investigated and determined Uskanil had been drinking but did not meet the criteria for drunk in public.

"You're not coming in here", the crew member said, according to Lee and Penny Lorenzen of California.

About halfway through the six-hour flight, the Basdens saw the same man, holding his laptop, with something over his head, which they thought was a towel or a blanket.

The flight attendant ran down the aisle with her serving cart and blocked the doorway separating first class from the rest of the plane. At one point, the source said, he moved toward the cockpit. Pacific time, almost three hours before the first flights of the day, he would have had ample time to get through security again and catch a plane to Hawaii as scheduled.

Lee and Penny Lorenzen of Orange County, California, were sitting in first class and saw a unusual look on the flight attendant's face.

A law enforcement official says a man who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu attempted to access the cockpit of the plane. Uskanil was a ticketed passenger on an American Airlines flight, and had gone through TSA screening.

Law enforcement officers were requested to meet a plane that landed Friday in Honolulu because of a passenger disturbance.

The Department of Homeland Security tweeted that the person was detained and the incident appeared to be isolated. She was not aware of injuries.