Delta flight attendant smashes wine bottle over disruptive passenger's head
A Delta Airlines flight attendant smashed a wine bottle over the head of a male passenger who lunged for an exit door and assaulted a flight attendant and fellow passenger during a Beijing-bound flight from Seattle.
According to ABC News, 23-year-old Joseph Daniel Hudek IV of Tampa, Florida, appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday. He did not speak during the hearing. His attorney, Robert Flennaugh II, declined to comment, according to The AP.
Hudek was charged with interfering with a flight crew and is expected to remain in custody at least until a detention hearing on July 13.
The Boeing 767 turned around about an hour after takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to an airport spokesperson. According to the complaint, first class passenger Hudek went into the forward restroom. He came out quickly, asked the attendant a question, and went back in.
When Hudek exited the restroom two minutes later, he suddenly lunged for the exit door, grabbed the handle and tried to open it. Two attendants grabbed him, but he pushed them away, and the attendants signaled for help from several passengers and notified the cockpit by telephone, the complaint said.
During the altercation, Hudek punched one flight attendant twice in the face and struck at least one passenger in the head with a red dessert wine bottle. As the struggle raged one, a flight attendant grabbed two wine bottles and hit Hudek over the head with each, breaking at least one of them.
According to one flight attendant cited in the complaint, "Hudek did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head, and instead shouted, 'Do you know who I am?' or something to that extent."
Several passengers were eventually able to restrain him and held him long enough to place zip-tie restraints on him.
A passenger and a flight attendant were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries in connection with the incident.
Delta flight 129 landed safely at 7:10 p.m., and Hudek was arrested. The Atlanta-based airline said the flight re-departed for Beijing later on Thursday.