Delta flight forced to land after man attacks flight attendant

Tammy Harvey
July 11, 2017

A flight attendant broke a wine bottle over the head of a man who lunged for an exit door and fought with other passengers during a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing, but it didn't faze him, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent wrote in charging papers filed Friday. He did not speak during the hearing. His lawyer, Robert Flennaugh, declined to comment.

Hudek faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will reportedly remain in police custody until his July 13 detention hearing.

The FBI charged Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, a 23-year-old man from Tampa, Fla., with interfering with a flight crew after the incident, which occurred on a flight going from Seattle to Beijing, China.

Delta addressed the incident in a statement: "The passenger was restrained on board and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident".

Delta flight attendants receive seven to eight weeks of initial training and recurrent training of which a "significant portion" focuses on the safety of passengers and flight attendants, according to a Delta spokesperson.

Two hours after takeoff, the plane landed back at the Seattle Tacoma airport at 7.10pm.

At the time, the plane was over the North Pacific Ocean, northwest of Vancouver Island, Canada.

According to the complaint, first class passenger Hudek went into the forward restroom.

A flight attendant asked for assistance from other passengers and notified the cockpit of the situation, and the pilot chose to divert the flight back to Seattle.

When he came out again two minutes later, he suddenly lunged for the plane exit door, grabbed the handle and tried to open it, Ms Highley wrote.

The flight attendants then signaled to passengers they needed help.

During the struggle, one flight attendant grabbed a wine bottle and hit Hudek over the head with it.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle released the photo below of the aftermath of the incident.

"According to the complaint obtained by the Times, Hudek did not appear "impacted" after the attendant struck him with the wine bottle and yelled, "'Do you know who I am?' or something to that extent".

A flight attendant then grabbed a 1-liter bottle of wine and hit Hudek on the head.

One flight attendant and a passenger were taken to a hospital after suffering severe facial injuries, authorities said.

Finally, someone on the flight crew was able to restrain this asshole in a headlock and the plane landed safely back in Seattle.

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