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USA man charged with assaulting Delta flight attendants

USA man charged with assaulting Delta flight attendants”

Appearing on Friday in the US District Court in Seattle, Joseph Daniel Hudek from Florida, who was travelling on Delta Flight 129 from Seattle to Beijing, faced one count of interference with flight crew members for allegedly assaulting flight attendants.

As the struggle continued, a flight attendant grabbed two wine bottles and hit Hudek over the head with each - breaking at least one of them, Highley wrote.

The attendants then signaled for help from several passengers and notified the cockpit by telephone, the complaint said.

One flight attendant and a passenger were taken to a hospital after suffering severe facial injuries, authorities said.

Two flight attendants tried to stop him and he punched one of them in the face twice.

Hudek did not speak during the hearing. One flight attendant told investigators that Hudek "did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head, and instead shouted, 'Do you know who I am?'" One flight attendant even shattered a wine bottle on Hudek's head, though it didn't manage to slow him down much.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a penalty of $250,000 for his actions on Thursday.

Had the plane been flying at a lower altitude, the door could have opened with the lever released halfway, a flight attendant said. Hudek was able to break away several times during the altercation.

Eventually it worked, and Hudek was restrained with zip ties, though the criminal complaint notes that he "remained extremely combative, and multiple passengers were needed to restrain Hudek and keep him restrained until the plane landed safely". Their injuries were serious, but non-life threatening injuries, according to Delta.

Delta Flight 129 was back in the air Friday morning, heading to Beijing.

"The passenger was restrained onboard and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident when the aircraft arrived back at Seattle", the airline said in a prepared statement.

Dietrich-Williams, the Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman, added there was no information to suggest there was a national security threat.

He had been sitting in the Boeing 767's first-class section, she said.

But, representatives from Delta and the North American Aerospace Defense Command said no such escort happened.

After everything was cleared up, the flight finally took off again at midnight, roughly five hours after it was forced to land.

The FBI Seattle field office maintains a regular presence at the airport and assisted in interviewing passengers from the flight, Dietrich-Williams said.



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