Prior to boarding the flight, he had been detained for attempting to access the airfield at LAX
A 25-year-old Turkish man, reportedly in the States on tourist and student visas, attempted to breach the cockpit of an American Airlines flight from LAX to Hawaii.
Anil Uskanli was subdued by passengers, including an off-duty Los Angeles police officer, and duct-taped to his seat until the flight landed at Honolulu International Airport. Pacific Command scrambled two F-22 Raptors, and the fighter jets escorted the passenger plane to Honolulu.
Before boarding the flight to Hawaii, Uskanli was detained at LAX for trespassing when he went through a door from the concourse onto a ramp leading to the airfield.
The man, identified as 25-year-old Anil Uskanli, was on board AA Flight 31, which departed from Los Angeles International Airport at 8:34 a.m. local time.
The Los Angeles airport police said at LAX, Uskanli was involved in a separate security incident and was detained but subsequently released.
Police said the suspect went through a door from an LAX concourse that led onto an airfield ramp. He was spotted by a contractor and detained. Airport police investigated and determined that Uskanli had been drinking. He was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing, cited and released.
The suspect subsequently got on board the American Airlines flight.
It was on this flight that Uskanli put a blanket over his head and attempted to breach the cockpit of the plane before being subdued by passengers and flight attendants.
Hawaii News Now continues:
Several hours in, passengers and authorities said, he allegedly tried to breach the cockpit door, throwing himself up against a beverage cart as he tried to force his way into the first-class cabin.
Passengers said the man had a blanket or towel on his head, and didn’t say anything as he pushed forward.
Flight attendants, an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and other passengers were able to stop the man and secure him in a seat, and no injuries were reported.
“It was all kind of surreal,” said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight. “It’s amazing to me how calm everybody stayed. Angels were watching out for us.”
Her husband was among those who got up to try to stop the man.
“It took seconds,” said Lee Lorenzen, of Orange County, Calif. “He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him. They found some duct tape. There were pillows and blankets. And they taped him to his chair.”
He added, “It was all over very quickly. They really deserve a medal for what they did.”
The incident prompted Pacific Command to scramble two F-22 fighter jets to intercept the flight; they escorted the passenger plane carrying 181 passengers and six crew members to its destination in Hawaii.
American Airlines said its Honolulu-bound flight, an Airbus A321, was carrying 181 passengers and six crew members.
. . . . The incident prompted Pacific Command to dispatch a pair of F-22 fighter jets to intercept the passenger plane.
“The F-22s escorted the airliner to the airport in accordance with homeland defense procedures. Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground,” said command spokesman Dave Benham said.
Upon landing, Uskanli was escorted off the plane and is in custody.
Watch the FBI’s statement to local media in Hawaii:DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.