Aviation

“I will kill you”: Unruly passenger attacks flight attendant, causes flight diversion

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

A flight from California to Japan was forced to divert to Alaska when a passenger struck and threatened to kill a flight attendant.

Seksan Kumtog, who was on United Airlines flight 32 travelling from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita on Sunday, reportedly became violent after being refused service of alcohol.

His tirade began when passengers noticed him banging on the airport bathroom doors “shouting and acting unruly”, according to an affidavit written by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent that was seen by Anchorage Daily News.

A flight attendant directed Kumtong to a different bathroom before he tried to shove them but missed.

During the flight, Kumtong fell asleep in his seat briefly and woke up to demand more alcohol, but was denied causing him to swear and yell loudly. At this point, the lead flight attendant stepped in and asked him to slow down on the beverages.

According to the affidavit, Kumtong then hit the flight attendant in the face and grabbed them by the necktie, trying to force them to the ground. It is alleged he yelled “I will kill you” during the ordeal.

Fellow passengers and crew restrained the unruly man, who continued to yell and lash out.

United Airlines told Travel Weekly in a statement that the flight was diverted 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,” the statement read.

Passengers and crew were put up in an Anchorage hotel for the night before leaving the next day, according to Anchorage Daily News.

Kumtong is reportedly in federal custody and is being held at the Anchorage Correctional Centre.

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