A pilot turned a plane around mid-flight because a violent passenger wanted to do yoga instead of sit in his seat.
The United Airlines flight from Honolulu International Airport to Narita International Airport was aborted after Hyongtae Pae started yelling at crew members and shoving his wife, the FBI said.
Pae told the FBI he didn't want to sit in his seat during the meal service, so he went to the back of the plane to do yoga and meditate. He became angry when his wife and flight attendants told him to return to his seat. "Pae pushed his wife because she was trying to make him stop," the complaint said. "He felt that she was siding with the flight crew."
He tried to head-butt and bite Marines who were passengers on the flight and were trying to force him back to his seat, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching said at Pae's detention hearing Wednesday.
According to the complaint, he threatened to kill passengers and was yelling that there is no god.
Pae went into a rage because he felt the flight crew was ordering him around, Ching said.
Pae urinated on himself and was on suicide watch at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center, Ching said.
US Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ordered that Pae be released on $25,000 bond, but with certain conditions including not leaving the island of Oahu and undergoing a mental health evaluation.
Chang denied Kim's request to allow Pae to return home to Korea, because that would involve getting on a plane again.
Outside of court, Kim said his client is a 72-year-old retired farmer who traveled from South Korea to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary with a Hawaii vacation. It was the couple's first trip to Hawaii.
Pae only recently took up yoga to help with anxiety, Kim said, adding that he was sleep-deprived during the vacation. Pae told the FBI he hadn't been able to sleep in 11 days.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies