Unruly Passenger Duct-Taped to Seat on Hawaii-Bound Flight | NBC 6 South Florida
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Unruly Passenger Duct-Taped to Seat on Hawaii-Bound Flight

The man's attempts to get to the front of the jetliner prompted flight attendants and passengers to subdue him and fighter jets to escort the plane

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Frightened passengers described a chaotic scene as flight attendant stopped an unruly passenger. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, May 19, 2017.

    (Published Saturday, May 20, 2017)

    After landing in Honolulu on a flight from Los Angeles, passengers described a midair disruption involving an unruly man whose attempts to get to the front of the jetliner prompted flight attendants and passengers to subdue him and fighter jets to escort the plane.

    Passengers noticed him before the plane even took off.

    Mark and Donna Basden were among the first to board the plane Friday and found a laptop in a seat pocket. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, couple assumed it was from the previous flight.

    A flight attendant said it must belong to a man in the bathroom.

    Man Hit By Bus, Flung Across Sidewalk Walks Away

    [NATL] Man Hit By Bus, Flung Across Sidewalk Walks Away

    A bus in Reading, England, swerved around a corner and hit a pedestrian on June 24, sending the man sliding across the pavement. The man stood up and walked into the Purple Turtle pub without major injuries.

    (Published 2 hours ago)

    Then a "disheveled looking fellow" walked out, Donna Basden said.

    Mark Basden handed the man the laptop, telling him it had been in his seat. He said the man scowled at him, took the laptop, opened it and closed it and then tried to sit in another seat in first class.

    Donna Basden said the man "clearly looked out of place," but he didn't say anything. The flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass, then when she looked at it she told him he was in row 35 and sent him to the back of the plane.

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

    The trouble with Uskanli actually began about eight hours before the flight departed. 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 Uskanli's identity to The Associated Press.

    Police say Uskanli had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria for public drunkenness. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing, given a date to appear in court and allowed to take the flight to Honolulu.

    Passenger Grant Arakelian said, "He was very quiet, moving very sluggish. He was trying to approach the cabin, like where the captain is."

    Lorenzen and his wife Penny Lorenzen, of Orange County, California, were sitting in first class and saw a "really serious look" on the flight attendant's face.

    The flight attendant ran down the aisle with her serving cart and blocked the doorway separating first class from the rest of the plane.

    "She jammed the cart in that the doorway and she just said, 'You're not coming in here,'" Lee Lorenzen said.

    He said the man was pushing against the cart, trying to get through. At that point, passengers came up from behind and grabbed him. He was restrained in his seat with duct tape for the rest of the flight.

    Tiger In Crimean Safari Park Gives Birth To 3 Cubs

    [NATL] Tiger In Crimean Safari Park Gives Birth To 3 Cubs

    Three Amur tiger cubs have been born at a Crimean safari park. The trio and their mother are doing well, according to park workers. The cubs were born on June 25 at Taigan Park in Belogorsk, which is home to around 50 tigers and lions.

    Amur tigers are an endangered subspecies - once found across Russia's Far East but driven to the brink of extinction by the 1940s.

    (Published 2 hours ago)

    "He didn't really fight or anything," said Arakelian, a student at the University of Southern California.

    "It caused worry on the plane, more curiosity than fear I would say because he wasn't acting irrationally but you could tell something was kind off about him as well," he said. "Once they took him to the back we never heard anything else about it."

    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.

    Uskanli having a laptop with him may have caused more concern than usual, with U.S. and European officials in recent weeks exchanging threats about aviation believed to include bombs hidden in laptop computers. Laptops have been banned on a handful of international flights, and could soon be outlawed on far more.

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the disturbance, according to a statement from the department. There are no other reports of disruptions, but the department said it is monitoring all flights Friday out of caution.

    As Uskanli was subdued, the cockpit called for help. Federal agents were sent to wait for the flight's arrival and two F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled to escort the plane.

    Sanders Vs. Reporters Over Latest Fake News Tirade

    [NATL] Sanders Argues With Reporters Over Latest Fake News Tirade

    White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders displayed the administrations's antagonism against the media in heated exchanges with members of the White House press corp during the daily press briefing on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Sanders pointed to a retracted CNN story as basis of the White House's "frustration" and skepticism with ongoing coverage, while one reporter accused the White House of "inflammatory rhetoric."

    (Published Tuesday, June 27, 2017)

    "We got that military escort coming into Honolulu," Donna Basden said with a laugh, "so welcome to Hawaii."

    This story has been corrected to show the correct spelling of Uskanli, not Usaknil.