Passengers on the plane used pillows, duct tape and blankets to subdue a Turkish man from entering the cockpit of a grounded plane before it took to the air.
Anil Uskanil, 25, had already been detained for an earlier incident by security but released boarded American Airlines Flight 31 departing from Los Angeles International. It seemed that Uskanil had been drinking and was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing when he went through a LAX concourse door that went to an airfield ramp. He was also cited and released.
The suspect subsequently got on board the American Airlines flight. Several hours in, passengers and authorities said, he allegedly tried to break through the cockpit door, throwing himself up against a beverage cart as he tried to force his way into the first-class cabin.
Passengers said the man had a blanket or towel on his head, and didn’t say anything as he pushed forward.
Flight attendants, an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and other passengers were able to stop the man and secure him in a seat.
“It was all kind of surreal,” said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight. “It’s amazing to me how calm everybody stayed. Angels were watching out for us.”
The suspect was taken into custody after the plane landed, and is being held at the Honolulu federal detention center. His visa has been cancelled, sources said.
It’s unclear what charges Uskanil might face. At a minimum, he might be charged with interfering with a flight crew, which carries a minimum penalty of 10 years behind bars.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Delacourt confirmed in a statement that passengers on board the flight were interviewed as part of the investigation.
“The FBI and its law enforcement partners are continuing to address this situation,” he said.
This is the video taking the man away in handcuffs:
Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu. We were greeted by the FBI. They are now taking us off the plane a few rows at a time for dog sniffing and interviews. I’ve never seen anything like this. #cnn #fbi #usa #homelandsecurity #hawaii #news —– Any interested news outlets are welcome to use my footage, please credit BPLUS.noisefloor.dnb as the source.
WOW! What do you think this guy wanted to do? Congratulations to the passengers who put their lives in danger to catch this guy and make sure he didn’t do anything dangerous to the plane.
How would you have reacted in a situation like that? Share your opinions below in the comment section.
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