The crazed passenger who ran down a jet bridge, onboard an American Airlines 737-800, into the flight deck, and then proceeded to damage flight instruments before attempting to jump out the window was apprehended by authorities…only to be released hours later. American Airlines says it is still considering pressing charges.
Passenger Who Breached American Airlines Cockpit Already Released Without Charges
On Tuesday, a man damaged the flight controls, including the throttle, at Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) onboard American Airlines flight 488 bound for Miami. You can read more about what happened here.
The man was restrained from jumping from an open window in the cockpit to the ground below and apprehended by authorities on the ground in Honduras. Upon his detention, he was taken the to the hospital for medical evaluation. After completing a series of tests, he was released. A spokesperson for the Honduras Ministry of Security placed the blame on American Airlines:
“He was freed because the airline did not press charges. The aggression toward the pilot and the crew of the airline was not serious. 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.”
While American Airlines has yet to pursue formal charges, a spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press that it does intend to pause justice:
“We are pursuing charges.”
Could this simply be a case of a traveler under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance? Perhaps. We don’t know much else about the man except that he was from the city of La Ceiba, a Caribbean port city in northern Honduras. He also did not have a prior criminal record according the police.
The man who breached a cockpit and attempted to destroy it has been released by police. While American Airlines can still press charges against the passenger, it is probably conferring with its legal department as to how such a lawsuit might work if litigated in Honduras.