SEATTLE (FOX 13) - A 23-year-old Tampa man is facing charges after causing a flight leaving from Seattle, Washington to Beijing, China, to be diverted.
Witnesses onboard Delta Flight 129 said Joseph Hudek IV began acting strange about 45 minutes after the flight departed Seattle Thursday evening. Hudek was pacing back and forth from his first class seat to the bathroom.
"He started going towards the exit door," said a fellow first class passenger who did not want to be identified.
Flight attendants and others on board tried to pull Hudek off the door handle. He punched a crew member and a passenger in the face.
"They broke two bottles of wine on his head. I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll," said the passenger.
"We could see the scuffling going on when the flight attendance ran back and said there was a Code 3, there was a serious fight up front," said passenger Dustin Jones.
Together, the crew and passengers were able to hold Hudek down and zip tie him to a seat until the flight could return to the airport in Seattle.
Hudek was arrested and taken off of the plane. He did not cooperate as he was being removed.
"He started yelling for help, and he turned the wheelchair over in the middle of the airport. He was screaming for people to help him. Just being belligerent," said Jones.
According to Hudek's Facebook page, he goes by the name "JoJo." Hudek lists himself as a Plant High School graduate and a current student at Florida State University.
According to court documents, Hudek was flying to China with a Delta Dependent Pass, a benefit given to family members of Delta employees.
Authorities do not believe the incident is linked to terrorism.
Hudek appeared before a federal judge in Seattle on Friday. He is charged with interfering with a flight. It carries a possible sente of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hudek is still in custody, and is expected to remain in custody until a detention hearing on July 13.