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American Airlines passenger detained after in-flight disturbance

21 May 2017

Flight 31 from Los Angeles landed safely at 11:35 a.m. local time, according to American Airlines.

Passengers on an American Airlines flight to Honolulu say a man detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation had exhibited odd behavior before the flight even left Los Angeles Los Angeles Airport Police identified the man as 25-year-old Anil Uskanil, who arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing at Los Angeles International Airport.

The flight was on its way from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Friday when there was a disturbance.

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Uskanli was quickly forced back to his seat and secured to it with blankets and duct tape, where he remained bound for the remainder of the flight.

The threat of terrorism prompted authorities to scramble two Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor fighter jets to escort the airliner on the last leg of its trip to Hawaii on Friday. FBI special agent Paul Delacourt said Uskanil could face federal charges for interference with a flight crew, according to CNN. American Airlines said he then went back through a TSA checkpoint in Terminal 4, where his flight to Honolulu was leaving from, and boarded the flight. Airport police determined he had been drinking, but he did not meet the criteria for being drunk in public, LAX police said. The airline also says that he had bought his ticket for the Honolulu flight shortly after midnight at the airport ticket counter.

Due to a disturbance during the flight, the crew requested that law enforcement meet the aircraft upon landing in Honolulu. Flight attendants asked him to return to his seat and he refused, the source said.

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"She jammed the cart in that the doorway and she just said, 'You're not coming in here, '" Lee Lorenzen said. "Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground", said Commander Dave Benham. He was cited, given a day to appear in court and allowed to board his flight.

According to travellers, the man attempted to break into the cockpit mid-flight. "He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him". A statement from the Department of Homeland Security explained that the passenger was arrested after the plane landed. He was restrained with duct tape for the rest of the flight. The flight originated from Los Angeles International Airport. The statement said the DHS would "continue to monitor all flights out of an abundance of caution" and "provide updates as necessary".

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American Airlines passenger detained after in-flight disturbance