Wine lovers look away. A passenger on a recent Delta Air Lines service from Seattle to Beijing is facing federal charges after causing a violent altercation with cabin crew and fellow flyers in which wine bottles were used as weapons.
According to Seattle’s KIRO 7 News, Joseph Daniel Hudek IV was travelling in first class when around an hour into the flight, he reportedly used the lavatory twice, and after exiting the toilet the second time, lunged towards the airplane door in an attempt to pry it open.
Trying to restrain the Florida man, a flight attendant was punched twice in the face, while a flyer who was helping was hit in the head with a wine bottle.
During a second attempt to open the door, a passenger who tried to pull Hudek away from the door was punched multiple times, before a flight attendant hit the 23-year-old on the head with two bottles of wine, one of which was smashed.
“They broke two bottles of wine on his head. I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll," an anonymous passenger told KIRO.
Even after a full bottle of wine was broken over his head, Hudek, who was travelling on a ‘dependent pass’ as the son of a Delta employee, remained combative and even shouted something like "Do you know who I am?"
It wasn’t until several other passengers got involved that the man was restrained, and secured with zip ties.
But Hudek reportedly remained “extremely” combative even as he was being escorted through the airport after the plane returned to Seattle-Tacoma. According to court documents, although he had consumed a beer prior to take-off, Hudek did not appear to be intoxicated during the incident.
Through it all, one passenger said the crew and the rest of the 200-plus travellers on board remained relatively calm.