A wine bottle broken on his head did not faze a man who lunged for an exit door and fought with other passengers on an international Delta Air Lines flight to Beijing, the FBI said.
Authorities said Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, of Tampa, Florida forced a Seattle to Beijing flight to return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Thursday when he tried to open an exit door before getting into a scuffle with flight attendants and other passengers.
FBI special agent Caryn Highley said in a probable cause statement on Friday that during the disturbance, Hudek punched one flight attendant twice in the face and struck at least one passenger in the head with a red dessert wine bottle. As the struggle continued, a flight attendant grabbed two wine bottles and hit Hudek over the head with each – breaking at least one of them.
According to one flight attendant, "Hudek did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head, and instead shouted, 'Do you know who I am?' or something to that extent," the complaint said.
Eventually several passengers were able to hold Hudek down long enough to place zip-tie restraints on him, Highley wrote.
Hudek, who appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday, wearing a beige jail uniform and sporting a scrape or bruise below his right eye, was charged with interfering with a flight crew, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is expected to remain in custody at least until a detention hearing on July 13.