Disturbance on LA-to-Hawaii flight brings FBI, fighter jets

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A man who had been arrested at LAX airport early Friday morning was later subdued after causing a “disturbance” that alarmed flight attendants and an off-duty officer on an American Airlines flight to Honolulu. But according to Hawaii News Now, the man is a 25-year-old Turkey national.

Passengers and crew subdued the man, took him to the back of the plane and duct-taped him to a seat, Lee Lorenzens told KITV and CNN affiliate KGMB/KHNL. The Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled fighter planes to escort the American Airlines jet into Honolulu International. The flight landed safely at 11:35 a.m., American Airlines said.

In this photo provided by Donna Basden, a man is escorted off an American Airlines flight after it landed in Honolulu, Friday, May 19, 2017.

Sources reportedly told HawaiiNewsNow that the man also breached security at Los Angeles International Airport, but that he “was assessed and allowed to board AA Flight 31 anyway“.

The attendant then took off down the aisle with her cart to block the passenger from advancing, saying: “You’re not coming in here”.

A passenger on the flightposted a video on Instagram showing Federal Bureau of Investigation agents leading a handcuffed person off the plane. Passengers told ABC News during the flight he started walking to the front of the plane with a blanket over his head and a laptop in his hand. 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 Uskanil’s identity to The Associated Press.

“Airport Police investigated and determined (he) had been drinking but did not meet the criteria for drunk in public”, Los Angeles Police said, in a statement. “Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground”, said Commander Dave Benham, without elaborating on the nature of the disturbance or name of the airline. Uskanil was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing, cited, given a pending court date and released from custody before his flight.

The suspect subsequently got on board the American Airlines flight.

The Department of Homeland Security tweeted the person was detained and that the incident appeared to be isolated.

No other information about the disturbance was immediately available. There are no other reports of disruptions, but the department said it is monitoring all flights Friday out of caution. Uskanil was a ticketed passenger on an American Airlines flight, and had gone through TSA screening.

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