On Thursday night, a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing turned back when a passenger assaulted a flight attendant, in the first class cabin, no less.
Delta Flight 129 took off at 5:24 p.m. PST, but had to retreat and land back in Seattle at 7:09 p.m. Delta said the incident was a "security incident with a passenger … The passenger was restrained onboard and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident when the aircraft arrived back at Seattle.”
Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, allegedly was pacing up and down the cabin toward the bathroom before heading for the exit door, which he tried to open, saying he needed air. When the flight attendant tried to stop him, Hudek tried to punch him. Passengers tried to help the flight attendant; one passenger said, “They broke two bottles of wine on his head. I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll.”
FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams and airport spokesman Perry Cooper dismissed claims that the passenger had attempted to enter the cockpit; Dietrich-Williams said there was no information to suggest that there was a national security threat.