Plane returns to Seattle after assault on flight attendant

Posted July 11, 2017

A 23-year-old man was flying first class on a Delta Air Lines flight that departed Seattle around 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Hudek did not speak during the hearing.

He now faces a felony charge of interfering with a flight crew, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The battle in the galley near the cockpit of Delta Flight 129, which was headed to Beijing with 210 passengers and 11 crew aboard, began as the airliner cruised near Canada's western coast about an hour into the flight. When he emerged two minutes later, he suddenly lunged for the exit door and tried to open it, according to Highley.

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.

A physical altercation ensued between Hudek and two flight attendants, one of whom he punched in the face at least two times.

Hudek pushed the emergency release lever to a 90 degree angle, which flight attendants told investigators could allow the door to open at lower altitudes.

As the struggle continued, another flight attendant grabbed two wine bottles and struck Hudek in the head, breaking one. A passenger who tried to help staff was hit on the head with a bottle of red wine and more passengers... Hudek was able to break away several times during the altercation.

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July 07-A Beijing-bound flight from Seattle had to turn back Thursday night after a Florida man allegedly attacked a flight attendant, authorities said.

During the return to Seattle, Hudek "remained extremely combative, and multiple passengers were needed to restrain Hudek and keep him restrained until the plane landed safely", according to the complaint.

Natasha Chen talks to passengers who were on that flight and one who helped tackle the man. Watch a live report from Sea-Tac Airport tonight at 11.

Delta flight 129 from Seattle to Beijing took off later that night.

Delta described the event as a "security incident with a passenger".

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". Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sea-Tac officials said the incident is not thought to be a national security threat.

The two people also initially said the Boeing 767 returned to the airport under a Department of Defense escort.