HONOLULU (CBSLA.com/AP) — 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 at Los Angeles International Airport.
Los Angeles Airport Police say 25-year-old Anil Uskanil of Turkey 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. He then boarded Flight 31 to Honolulu.
Law enforcement officials say Uskanil caused a disturbance while attempting to access the cockpit of the plane. The official told The Associated Press the man had “tried to breach the cockpit door” and was taken into custody in Honolulu by federal agents when the plane landed.
American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said Flight 31 landed in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m. local time.
Two eyewitnesses said the man 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 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.”
“He was screaming and talking to himself, then he walked up to the front with a blanket on his head,” Passenger Lynn Ratner said.
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.
“Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu,” one Instagram user wrote.
“Due to a disturbance during the flight, the crew requested that law enforcement meet the aircraft upon landing in Honolulu,” American Airlines said in a statement. “American is in touch with federal law enforcement.”
Uskanil is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. His visa has been canceled.
There were 181 passengers and six crew members, Cody said. She was not aware of any injuries.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)