Resourceful Flight Attendant Uses Unlikely 'Weapon' to Subdue Panicked Man Trying to Storm Cockpit
When faced with an unruly passenger in a potential crisis situation, one flight attendant’s quick thinking helped avert a possible tragedy.
Using a coffee pot as an improvised weapon, the crew member helped stop a man who was trying to break into the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 1775 on Sunday.
Passengers rushed to the front of the aircraft after the man tried to get inside the cockpit. Witnesses recount seeing passengers hold the man down and restrain him, the Daily Mail reported.
Passenger Mouaz Moustafa, a witness to the incident, shared photos of its aftermath on Twitter.
The FBI have boarded flight #AA1775 and are going through the scene after a flight attendant used a coffee pot to strike a middle aged man multiple times who was attempting to open the plane door. pic.twitter.com/L7FYeedzuD
— Mouaz Moustafa (@SoccerMouaz) February 13, 2022
“A flight attendant ran to the back of the plane and got the coffee pot and continues to bash the guy on the head,” Moustafa told the New York Times after the chaotic flight. The unruly passenger was “bleeding profusely” by the time he was later arrested.
The flight, traveling from Los Angeles to Washington D.C, made an emergency landing in Kansas City following the incident. Passengers were rebooked on alternate aircraft.
After the airplane began making an emergency descent, many passengers feared for the worst.
“I honestly thought today I might die,” Moustafa told the Times after the plane landed. He described a pilot walking down the aisle of the aircraft and confirming to passengers that the unruly man had tried to access the cockpit.
Another passenger, Air Force reservist Carlos Rojas, told the Times that he helped restrain the man with three flight attendants and two other passengers.
Those who took action used zip ties and tape to bind the man’s ankles and hands, according to Rojas.
“When I went up, it looked like the guy was trying to open the exterior door of the plane to the outside,” Rojas described the man’s actions from his point of view.
Rojas said that the unruly man, who he described as middle-aged, seemed distraught and paranoid. Other passengers had seen him pace the aisles of the aircraft before rushing the cockpit.
A statement from the FBI to CNN confirmed that the suspect has been arrested. The name of the unruly man hasn’t been released as of Monday afternoon.
“The flight was diverted due to an unruly passenger interfering with the flight crew,” the agency said. “The individual has been taken into custody. No further information is available at this time.”
Violence aboard passenger aircraft is punishable with federal penalties.
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