A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines takes off at Los Angeles International Airport
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines takes off at Los Angeles International Airport

‘I will kill you’: United Airlines passenger attacks flight attendant by hitting them in the face and throwing them to the ground

Flight diverts to Anchorage

Helen Coffey
Friday 07 February 2020 16:41

A United Airlines flight was forced to divert after a passenger allegedly hit a flight attendant in the face, threw them to the ground and threatened to kill them.

Flight 32 was travelling from Los Angeles, California in the US to Tokyo Narita airport, Japan, on 2 February when it had to land at Anchorage, Alaska due to one man’s violent behaviour.

According to court documents seen by the Daily Mail, passenger Seksan Kumtong was charged with breaking federal law by interfering with the flight’s crew.

He was described as displaying “unruly” behaviour earlier in the flight when he banged on occupied toilet doors, attempting to force other travellers to vacate the lavatory.

Kumtong tried to push a flight attendant who approached to direct him to a different toilet, but missed.

Crew stopped serving him alcoholic drinks as his behaviour became more problematic and he fell asleep for a period.

However, upon waking he became agitated when cabin crew refused to give him another drink and started shouting.

The lead flight attendant was summoned; they attempted to calm Kumtong down, but he quickly became physically aggressive.

“The lead flight attendant was then struck in the face by Kumtong,” say court documents. “Kumtong grabbed the lead flight attendant by the neck and tie and attempted to push the lead flight attendant to the floor.

“While doing this, Kumtong yelled obscenities and ‘I will kill you’ to the lead flight attendant.”

Passengers sprang to the flight attendant’s aid, helping to restrain Kumtong, who was still shouting obscenities and swearing.

The flight was met in Anchorage by airport police, TSA agents and the FBI and Kumtong was taken to Anchorage Correctional Center, where he is being held in federal custody until the hearing, scheduled for 11 February.

A United Airlines spokesperson told The Independent: “The safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority.

“On Sunday, United flight 32 travelling from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita diverted to Anchorage due to a disruptive customer.

“The flight landed safely and was met by local officials. The customer was removed and we worked to get customers on their way as soon as possible.”

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