Unruly Passenger Duct-Taped to Seat on Hawaii-Bound Flight - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Unruly Passenger Duct-Taped to Seat on Hawaii-Bound Flight

The man's attempts to get to the front of the jetliner prompted flight attendants and passengers to subdue him and fighter jets to escort the plane

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Frightened passengers described a chaotic scene as flight attendant stopped an unruly passenger. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Published Saturday, May 20, 2017)

    After landing in Honolulu on a flight from Los Angeles, passengers described a midair disruption involving an unruly man whose attempts to get to the front of the jetliner prompted flight attendants and passengers to subdue him and fighter jets to escort the plane.

    Passengers noticed him before the plane even took off.

    Mark and Donna Basden were among the first to board the plane Friday and found a laptop in a seat pocket. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, couple assumed it was from the previous flight.

    A flight attendant said it must belong to a man in the bathroom.

    Raqqa's Devastation Shows Entire Neighborhoods Destroyed

    [NATL] Raqqa's Devastation Shows Entire Neighborhoods Destroyed

    Shells of buildings, concrete slabs littering dust-choked streets and destroyed cars are all that is left of whole neighborhoods in Raqqa, Syria, after weeks of fighting and bombings between Islamic State militants and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the U.S.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 20, 2017)

    Then a "disheveled looking fellow" walked out, Donna Basden said.

    Mark Basden handed the man the laptop, telling him it had been in his seat. He said the man scowled at him, took the laptop, opened it and closed it and then tried to sit in another seat in first class.

    Donna Basden said the man "clearly looked out of place," but he didn't say anything. The flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass, then when she looked at it she told him he was in row 35 and sent him to the back of the plane.

    About halfway through the six-hour flight, the Basdens saw the same man, holding his laptop, with something over his head, which they thought was a towel or a blanket.

    The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Anil Uskanli, 25, of Turkey, was duct-taped to his seat until the plane landed in Honolulu and federal agents arrested him, passenger Lee Lorenzen said.

    The trouble with Uskanli actually began about eight hours before the flight departed. He was arrested before dawn at Los Angeles International Airport for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp, according to Los Angeles Airport Police, who provided Uskanli's identity to The Associated Press.

    Police say Uskanli had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria for public drunkenness. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing, given a date to appear in court and allowed to take the flight to Honolulu.

    Passenger Grant Arakelian said, "He was very quiet, moving very sluggish. He was trying to approach the cabin, like where the captain is."

    Lorenzen and his wife Penny Lorenzen, of Orange County, California, were sitting in first class and saw a "really serious look" on the flight attendant's face.

    The flight attendant ran down the aisle with her serving cart and blocked the doorway separating first class from the rest of the plane.

    "She jammed the cart in that the doorway and she just said, 'You're not coming in here,'" Lee Lorenzen said.

    He said the man was pushing against the cart, trying to get through. At that point, passengers came up from behind and grabbed him. He was restrained in his seat with duct tape for the rest of the flight.

    Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Teams Up With Nike for Charity

    [NATL] Just for Kicks: Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Teams Up With Nike for Charity

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has teamed up with Nike to celebrate the Pats Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Nike RKK Air Force 1 Flyknit is the fourth collaboration between Kraft and the sneaker company.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017)

    "He didn't really fight or anything," said Arakelian, a student at the University of Southern California.

    "It caused worry on the plane, more curiosity than fear I would say because he wasn't acting irrationally but you could tell something was kind off about him as well," he said. "Once they took him to the back we never heard anything else about it."

    American Airlines Flight 31 had 181 passengers and six crew members aboard, said airline spokeswoman Katie Cody, who did not provide details on the incident.

    Uskanli having a laptop with him may have caused more concern than usual, with U.S. and European officials in recent weeks exchanging threats about aviation believed to include bombs hidden in laptop computers. Laptops have been banned on a handful of international flights, and could soon be outlawed on far more.

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the disturbance, according to a statement from the department. There are no other reports of disruptions, but the department said it is monitoring all flights Friday out of caution.

    As Uskanli was subdued, the cockpit called for help. Federal agents were sent to wait for the flight's arrival and two F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled to escort the plane.

    Child Porn Search Warrant Leads to Massive Weapons Bust

    [NATL] Child Porn Search Warrant Leads to Massive Weapons Bust

    A man in Florida was arrested Thursday for possessing destructive devices in his home.

    Pinellas County sheriff's deputies were serving a search warrant regarding child pornography in the home of Randall Drake when they found the devices and made the arrest.

    Deputies also found maps and aerial photos of Essrig Elementary School, Ben Hill Middle School and a water treatment plant in Hillsborough County.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 20, 2017)

    "We got that military escort coming into Honolulu," Donna Basden said with a laugh, "so welcome to Hawaii."

    This story has been corrected to show the correct spelling of Uskanli, not Usaknil.