A JetBlue passenger who was upset when he had trouble making a phone call had to be restrained after he tried to storm the cockpit and choke a flight attendant who intercepted him, federal authorities said.
Flight 261 from Boston to Puerto Rico was 45 minutes or so from landing late Wednesday when Khalil El Dahr “became angry" about a phone call not going through, an FBI affidavit on file in U.S. District Court in San Juan says.
El Dahr, who was sitting in the sixth row, rushed the cockpit, yelling in Spanish and Arabic for someone to shoot him, it says.
A flight attendant tried to stop El Dahr, who punched and kicked him in the chest and tried to strangle him with his tie, the affidavit says.
“While El Dahr was yelling, he was still holding the JetBlue (flight attendant) by their tie. This resulted in the tie tightening and ultimately prevented the JetBlue FA from breathing,” the FBI charged.
At least a half-dozen crew members got El Dahr's hands into zip ties, but he broke them before they used seat belt extenders around his torso -- and the attendant's tie around his ankles -- to secure him in the back of the plane, the complaint says.
Authorities waiting at San Juan then took El Dahr into custody.
A judge there ordered him detained on felony charges of interfering with a flight crew.
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