A 23-year-old passenger aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing was hit on the head with a bottle of wine after attempting to open the plane’s exit door mid-flight. Several crew members and passengers physically struggled with the man before subduing him until landing back in Seattle where he was arrested.
The scene of the altercation Photo Credit: FBI/Channel 2 News
A Delta Air Lines flight attendant smashed a bottle of wine on a passenger’s head during a flight from Seattle to Beijing on Friday after the man tried to open the plane’s exit door mid-air. The passenger, 23-year-old Joseph Daniel Hudek IV from Florida, appeared before the Federal District Court with a black eye on charges of interfering with a flight crew. Hudek did not speak during the hearing and his lawyer has refused to comment. One flight attendant and several passengers were evacuated to the hospital after suffering facial injuries.
The flight, carrying over 200 passengers and 11 crew members, was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing in Seattle in response to the incident. According to the report, Hudek was flying on a dependent pass and was seated in first class since his mother is a Delta employee.
One of the flight attendants said that although Hudek ordered a beer before take-off, he appeared sober and showed no signs of being drunk or on drugs.
About an hour after take-off while flying over Vancouver Island, Hudek went to the restroom for about two minutes before he suddenly lunged towards the exit door. Hudek grasped the handle and tried to open the door. Two flight attendants stopped him and but he managed to push them away. One attendant called out for help and some of the passengers began to struggle with Hudek as well and reported the situation to the pilots.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
According to the report, Hudek punched one of the flight attendants twice and hit at least one passenger in the head with a wine bottle. As the altercation continued, one of the flight attendants grabbed two-liter bottles of wine and hit him in the head, breaking one of them on him.
“Hudek did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head,” the flight attendant told the FBI, “and instead shouted ‘Do you know who I am?’ or something to that extent.”
Hudek was finally subdued by a number of passengers and crew members and kept zip-tied until landing, at which point the police arrested and escorted him off the plane.