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Hawaii-bound passengers noticed unruly man before take-off

21 May 2017

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.

Uskanli was duct-taped to his seat until the plane landed in Honolulu, where federal agents boarded the plane and arrested him, passenger Lee Lorenzen said.

Earlier the man, who purchased his ticket around midnight, had an encounter with airport personnel at the airport in Los Angeles, an official briefed on the incident told CNN.

During the flight, the report said, Uskanli was subdued by passengers and flight attendants, who used a drink cart to block him from the front of the plane.

Two F-22 Raptors from the US Pacific Command escorted the plane for the final part of the flight, Navy Cmdr.

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A passenger aboard the flight posted an Instagram video that showed someone being escorted down the plane's aisle in handcuffs, being directed by a person wearing an Federal Bureau of Investigation windbreaker, along with other people wearing sidearms, the Honolulu Advertiser reported.

He later boarded American Airlines Flight 31, but looked disheveled and "clearly out of place", passenger Donna Basden told the Associated Press. Flight attendants asked him to return to his seat and he refused, the source said.

Police say officers determined Uskanil had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria to be arrested for being drunk in public.

Passengers noticed him before the plane even took off.

Instead, they said, he was stopped by a flight attendant who had jammed her serving cart in the doorway that separates first class from coach. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing, given a date to appear in court and allowed to take the flight to Honolulu.

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The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Lorenzen says other passengers grabbed the man. The flight departed from Los Angeles International Airport at 8:34 a.m. local time.

The Department of Homeland Security is involved in the investigation, and agency officials said all USA flights would be monitored after the incident, "out of an abundance of caution".

Video posted on social media showed authorities escorting Uskanil in handcuffs off the plane.

Law enforcement officers were requested to meet a plane that landed Friday in Honolulu because of a passenger disturbance. She was not aware of injuries.

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