At this point, I’m about ready to swear off air travel forever. A group of courageous passengers were forced to team up with two flight attendants to stop a deranged man from opening the emergency exit door of the airplane in the middle of a Delta flight from Seattle to Beijing.
The harrowing incident took place on Thursday night aboard Delta flight 129, a criminal complaint revealed. Joseph Daniel Hudek IV got up from his first-class seat to use the restroom, exited the lavatory to ask a flight attendant a question, and then went back in.
When he exited as second time, Hudek suddenly sprinted toward the emergency exit door and grabbed the handle, seemingly intent on opening it. Flight attendants sprang into action and tried to get him away from the door but Hudek pushed them away.
That’s when a flight attendant signaled toward a passenger for help and informed the cockpit of the bizarre situation. As the pilot notified the Federal Aviation Administration of the chaos and was ordered to return back to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, flight attendants and passengers desperately tried to subdue Hudek.
One of the crew members was punched in the face and a passenger was hit over the head with a wine bottle, the complaint states. Momentarily gaining the upper hand, Hudek once again tried to open the exit door, battering yet another passenger who stepped in to help.
A flight attendant only managed to stop Hudek by using his own tactics against him: she smashed the lunatic over the head with two wine bottles with such force that one of them broke, just like in the movies. The Good Samaritans were finally able to hold him down long enough to restrain him with zip ties, but he remained combative.
Now, Hudek faces one count of interference with flight crew members, which could lead to up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.