A seemingly crazy man who abused and attacked two flight attendants and many passengers while he tried to open an exit door mid-flight yelled, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’, according to investigators.
Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, the son of a Delta airlines employee, was flying in first class using a ‘dependent pass’ from Seattle to Beijing on Thursday when his sudden violent outburst caused the plane to deviate back to Washington about an hour after takeoff.
Hudek, who punched a flight attendant and a passenger who tried to help, had two wine bottles smacked over his head before he was at length restrained, according to a likely cause document. He now faces a felony charge of interfering with a flight crew, which could mean a sentence of up to 20 years in prison along with a $250,000 fine.
One flight attendant and a passenger had to be taken to the hospital after suffering with severe facial wounds, authorities said. Photos from inside the plane uncover blankets and food spread across the cabin floor while a knocked over beverage can be seen spilling out of the exit.
The Florida native (who would have guessed) found himself in US District Court on Friday, in a beige jail uniform showcasing a scrape or bruise below his right eye. Hudek didn’t utter a single word during the hearing. His attorney, Robert Flennaugh II, even declined to comment…From what could be gathered from her social media accounts, Hudek’s mother Linda Hudek, is a customer service representative and reservation agent at Delta.
According to the airline’s employee benefits, dependent children fly for free, although some government or airport fees apply for international travel.
A probable cause statement written by FBI special agent Caryn Highley said Hudek was sitting in the first row of the Boeing 767’s first-class section when the flight took off on Thursday.
Hudek had a beer before takeoff, but exhibited no sign of being intoxicated, a flight attendant told authorities.
About an hour into the flight, Hudek went into the restroom, popped out, and asked the attendant a question before he stepped back in, the FBI agent wrote.
When he came out again two minutes later, he suddenly lunged for the exit door, grabbed the handle and tried to open it, Highley wrote.
Two flight attendants grabbed him, but he pushed them away, the complaint said. The attendants then signaled for help from several passengers and notified the cockpit by telephone, the complaint said.
Hudek punched one flight attendant twice in the face and struck at least one passenger in the head with a red dessert wine bottle, the documents said.
One passenger who did not want to be named told KIRO7: ‘I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll.’
As the struggle went on for what seemed like an eternity, as flight attendant took hold of two wine bottles and struck Hudek over the head with each – breaking at least one of them.
According to one flight attendant, it was as if ‘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.’
This could have been real bad. Thank goodness for some old fashion saloon brawl tactics!
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