A United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Narita, Japan was diverted to Anchorage, Alaska on Sunday due to a passenger who became violent when he was denied more alcohol. The man is currently being held in federal custody.
The trouble began when a flight attendant noticed the passenger, Seksan Kumtong, “banging on the plane’s bathroom doors.” When the attendant attempted to direct Kumtong to a different restroom, Kumtong tried unsuccessfully to shove the crew member.
Things settled for a while when Kumtong returned to his seat and fell asleep. Upon waking up, however, he demanded more alcohol, which attendants refuse to serve him. Kumtong then started to swear loudly before striking an attendant in the face. He then grabbed the crew member by the necktie and attempted to drag the flight attendant to the floor. At some point, Kumtong threatened the attendant by yelling “I will kill you.”
Crew members and other passengers stepped in to assist the poor flight attendant. Once Kumtong was restrained, the pilot diverted the flight to Anchorage.
“The safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority,” the airline stated. “On Sunday, United flight 32 traveling from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita diverted to Anchorage due to a disruptive customer. The flight landed safely and was met by local officials. The customer was removed, and we worked to get customers on their way as soon as possible.”
Kumtong is accused of interfering with flight crew members or flight attendants. He is due to appear for his hearing on Tuesday.
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