Man arrested after entering cockpit, damaging airline plane
A passenger arrested in Honduras for damaging the cockpit of an American Airlines jet during boarding was released by authorities hours later.
The flight scheduled to depart for Miami on Tuesday afternoon was delayed for hours until a replacement plane could be arranged. The flight arrived in Florida early Wednesday, about eight hours late.
The passenger who caused the delay was seen in cell phone video as he leaned out of a cockpit window.
“He was freed because the airline did not press charges,” said Security Secretary spokesman Edgardo Barahona. “The aggression toward the pilot and the crew of the airline was not serious.”
American said it is not dropping the matter, although formal charges have not been presented to authorities.
“We are pursuing charges,” airline spokesman Curtis Blessing said Wednesday.
The cockpit door was open before the breach at the international airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, American Airlines said.
“Crew members intervened and the individual was ultimately apprehended by local law enforcement,” an airline spokesman said.
Airport security removed the man from the plane and turned him over to the National Police, who took him to a hospital for a series of tests.
“He was taken to an assistance center because according to other passengers he was acting strangely as if under the effects of some type of hallucinogen,” Barahona said.
The man was from the coastal city of La Ceiba and had no prior criminal history, according to police.
The flight had 121 passengers and six crew members.