WICHITA, Kansas – An airline passenger who threatened to bring down the plane he was on, was charged Wednesday in federal court in Wichita, U.S., Attorney Barry Grissom said.
U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said 38-year-old Jason Baroletti of Holbrook, N.Y. was charged with one count of interfering with the performance of the duties of flight crew members.
On Nov. 3, Baroletti was a passenger on American Airlines flight 622 carrying 131 people from Phoenix to New York. Investigators alleged that 10 minutes after takeoff, Baroletti started smoking an e-cigarette. Flight attendants told him it was not allowed. He said he had anxiety and wanted a drink. When flight attendants declined to serve him alcohol, he became more upset.
Grissom said in the news release, Baroletti threatened to kill another passenger for advising against giving him alcohol. He said he would slap the beard off the man’s face.
In addition, Bartoletti allegedly said he would take the plane down and threatened to kill other passengers.
The pilot landed the plane in Wichita to remove Baroletti from the aircraft. He was arrested at Dwight D. Eisenhower airport by Wichita Airport Police. The flight was delayed for about 40 minutes before it continued onto New York.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
The Augustines, who were aboard the flight, tweeted out the following messages.