Saturday, May. 20, 2017

The Latest: Passengers say man acted oddly before takeoff

By The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Passengers on an American Airlines flight to Honolulu say a man detained by the FBI 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. He was given a date to appear in court and released for his flight to Honolulu.

Passengers Mark and Donna Basden of Albuquerque, New Mexico, sat down in their first-class seats, and Mark found a laptop in the seat pocket. A flight attendant suspected it belonged to Uskanil, who was in the bathroom.

Basden returned it to the man when he came out. Basden says the man scowled at him, opened and closed the laptop computer and then sat in a different seat. A flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass, and then escorted Uskanil back to row 35.

The Basdens say everything was fine until midway through the flight. That's when Uskanil, now apparently wearing a towel or blanket over his head and with his laptop in his hand, was trying to get into the first-class cabin. A flight attendant had blocked the doorway with her serving cart.

Uskanil was subdued for the rest of the flight and arrested in Honolulu when the plane landed with a military escort. The FBI says it is interviewing him.


3:10 p.m.

Police say a man who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu had been arrested hours before his flight for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp.

Los Angeles Airport Police say 25-year-old Anil Uskanil had opened the door in an airport terminal around 2:45 a.m. Friday. They say he was spotted by a contractor and detained until police officers arrived.

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

They say Uskanil was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and was given a date to appear in court.


2:07 p.m.

Two eyewitnesses say the man who caused a disruption on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Friday did not make it to the cockpit door.

Instead they say he was stopped by a flight attendant who had jammed her serving cart in the doorway that separates first class from coach.

Lee and Penny Lorenzen of Orange County, California, were sitting in first class and saw a strange look on the flight attendant's face. The attendant then took off down the aisle with her cart to block the passenger from advancing, saying: "You're not coming in here."

Passenger Allison Forberger, an eyewitness who lives in Kapolei, Hawaii, was seated right behind first class. She also says the passenger who created the disturbance never stepped foot into the first-class area

Lorenzen says other passengers grabbed the man. They took him to the back of the plane and duct-taped him to his seat.


1 p.m.

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.

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

The official says the man had "tried to breach the cockpit door" and was taken into custody by federal agents when the plane landed.

The official said the man is likely to face federal charges.

The man was aboard American Airlines Flight 31. The flight landed at 11:35 a.m. in Honolulu.

— Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles


12:31 p.m.

A person who caused a disturbance on a flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu has been detained.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the incident involving American Airlines Flight 31, which landed at 11:35 a.m. in Honolulu.

The flight crew requested law enforcement officers meet the plane upon landing.

No other information about the disturbance was immediately available.

A Homeland Security tweet says there are no other reports of disruptions to flights, but the department continues to "monitor all flights out of an abundance of caution."


12:09 p.m.

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

American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said Flight 31 from Los Angeles landed in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m.

She said the crew requested law enforcement meet the plane upon landing because of a "passenger disturbance." She referred further questions to FBI, saying "We're still figuring out all the details."

There were 181 passengers and six crew members, she said. She was not aware of injuries.

2017-05-20 01:24:29 GMT

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