A JetBlue passenger tried storming the cockpit, grappled with half-a-dozen crew members, and then broke free from plastic zip ties during a flight from Boston to Puerto Rico earlier this week, FBI documents show.
Khalil El Dahr tried to make a phone call toward the end of the flight on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and “became angry about the call’s unsuccess,” according to an FBI affidavit obtained by the Daily Beast.
Approximately 45 minutes before landing, El Dahr rushed toward the cockpit yelling for someone to shoot him, while holding a flight attendant by his tie — nearly strangling him, the affidavit says.
Six or seven other flight attendants rushed over and restrained El Dahr using the flight attendant’s tie and seatbelt extenders, documents say.
Then, 10 minutes before the final descent, the unruly passenger broke free from the restraints and punched a flight attendant in the chest, requesting to be shot and killed, documents show. He was shouting in Spanish and Arabic, the FBI report says.
He was again restrained using a pair of plastic zip ties, but El Dahr resisted so much that he broke through again and freed himself, the FBI affidavit says. He was again restrained with another pair of zip ties and four seatbelt extenders until landing, documents say.
El Dahr was arrested after the plane landed in San Juan. He is facing felony charges of interfering with a flight crew.
JetBlue did not immediately return DC’s request for comment in an email placed Saturday afternoon, Sept. 25.