A troubled 11-year-old was duct taped to his seat after losing control on an American Airlines flight from Maui.
Troubled Boy Duct Taped To Seat On American Airlines
On Tuesday, AA212 departed Maui (OGG) for Los Angeles (LAX). The Airbus A321neo aircraft left Kahului Airport at 12:40pm.
Shortly after takeoff, the trouble began onboard, an “incident with a passenger on board” according to American Airlines (talk about an understatement).
The boy became physically abusive with his own mother and attempted to kick out the window next to him.
Other passengers restrained him and a flight attendant then appeared to constrain him with duct tape in the video below, obtained by CBS Los Angeles.
Note the man filming the video suggests the boy may have screamed, kicked, and punched due to a developmental disability.
The incident occurred about an hour into the flight and prompted a diversion to Honolulu, creating a three-hour flight from Maui to Honolulu, 90 miles apart.
Despite the appearance of duct tape being used, American Airlines later said that zip ties (so-called “flex cuffs”) were used to restrain the boy, who was removed from the flight with his mother after landing.
Earlier reports suggested the boy was “arrested” upon landing, but that was not the case. Indeed, it appears the young man was suffering from mental illness and formed no criminal intent to try to hurt himself or others.
The UK Daily Mail reports the boy was 11 years old, not 13 years old as widely reported. It also suggests:
- The boy was autistic
- He fought with his mother onboard
- His mother was disabled (missing one arm)
- The boy’s brother (age unknown) panicked and was the one who tried to kick out the window
But it was a scary few moments for many passengers onboard. One passenger told CBS Los Angeles:
“It was enough to make me concerned for my family. And actually I feel bad for the airlines because they have to be really delicate.”
Unlike the duct-taping of drunk 22-year-old Max Berry on Frontier Airlines, this incident appears fueled by autism, not drunken vitriol. It’s a sad case either way. Other passengers onboard were re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations by American Airlines.
This is not the first duct taping incident on American Airlines. In July, a first class passenger was duct taped to his seat after biting a flight attendant.
image: American Airlines