More details out in Delta Sea-Tac flight tussle

Flight attendant broke wine bottle over man's head


(Update: Passenger allegedly lunged for exit door, struggle ensued)

SEATTLE (AP) - Authorities say a flight attendant broke at least one wine bottle over the head of a passenger who lunged for an exit door during a struggle on a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing on Thursday night.


The disclosure came as 23-year-old Joseph Daniel Hudek IV of Tampa, Florida, appeared Friday in a federal courtroom in Seattle.


He is charged with interfering with a flight crew and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


A criminal complaint says Hudek was served one beer prior to takeoff and did not appear intoxicated.


It says Hudek came out of a bathroom about an hour into the flight and lunged for an exit door in the first-class section.


Two flight attendants tried to stop him and authorities say one broke a wine bottle on him during the struggle.




Officials say Hudek was in the first-class section. Other passengers restrained him and the plane returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


Perry Cooper, a spokesman for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said Friday that the flight attendant and another passenger were transported to Highline Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.


Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said passengers helped restrain him until the plane landed back at Sea-Tac and Port of Seattle police arrested the man.


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


Passenger Dustin Jones was seated just behind the curtains that lead to first class, and said he could tell there was a scuffle happening.


"One of the flight attendants ran back and said there was a Code 3," Jones told KIRO-TV. "There was a serious fight up front."


Jones said he saw the man handcuffed and zip-tied being rolled into the terminal in a wheelchair after they had landed.


"He started yelling for help," Jones said. "And so he turned the wheelchair over in the middle of the airport, screaming for people to help him, just being belligerent."


Airport officials said they conferred with the FBI and the incident is not thought to be a national security threat.



The flight left for Beijing later Thursday night.

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