Fighters Escort American Jet After Attempted Cockpit Breach
Fighters Escort American Jet After Attempted Cockpit Breach
28 May, 2017, 02:55
The man who allegedly tried to break into the cockpit of a Hawaii-bound flight had been arrested and then released from custody at before boarding the plane at Los Angles International Airport Friday.
After the plane landed in Honolulu, a passenger took video of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents leading Uskanil, a Turkish national, off in handcuffs.
Officials identified the man as 25-year Turkish man named Anil Uskanil who was duct-taped to his seat until the plane arrived in Honolulu.
Flight attendants were able to stop him before he got too close to the pilot's deck and brought him back to an empty row where he was supervised by an off-duty L.A. police officer until the plane landed.
The disturbance prompted the Hawaii National Guard to scramble two fighter jets to escort the plane to Honolulu.
American Airlines Flight 31, an Airbus A321 that left LAX around 8:30 a.m. Friday, landed safely in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, according to the airline.
"Due to a disturbance on the flight, the crew requested that law enforcement meet the aircraft upon landing in Honolulu", according to the airline.
"She jammed the cart in that the doorway and she just said, 'You're not coming in here, '" Lorenzen said.
He said the man was pushing against the cart, trying to get through. "Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground", said command spokesman Dave Benham said.
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Airport police say Uskanli had been drinking but was not drunk.
They claimed that he was trying to sit in first class when cabin crew approached him, a suggestion that was denied by officials.
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".
The US Department of Homeland Security acknowledged in a statement that the suspect was in custody and the department will continue to monitor all flights and provide updates as necessary.
He later boarded American Airlines Flight 31, but looked disheveled and "clearly out of place", passenger Donna Basden told the Associated Press.
Mark and Donna Basden were among the first to board the plane Friday and found a laptop in a seat pocket.
Police say Uskanli was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing, given a date to appear in court and allowed to take the flight to Honolulu.
"He came out of the bathroom and charged down the aisle", she said.
However, passengers, with the help of other flights attendants, restrained the guy and duct-taped him until the end of the flight.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed both knowledge of the disturbance and Uskanil's detainment through a written statement.
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