Student in Hot Water With FBI After Drunken Rampage On Flight
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Speaking via his federal public defender, Eric Matthew Schneider said he doesn’t remember what happened, but his fellow passengers on a Seattle-to-Maui Delta flight probably can remember his drunken escapades quite well.
As per an Associated Press report, the 23-year-old Northern California college student was on his way to the Hawaiian island for vacation on Monday when, in his inebriated state, he threatened to kill passengers, shoved a flight attendant and slipped out of his plastic handcuff restraints.
In light of these actions, a judge ordered Schneider to get mental health and substance abuse evaluations at a Honolulu halfway house. Posting a $10,000 bond, he can go home, returning for court dates.
The FBI’s criminal complaint, via the AP, has Schneider imbibing a double tequila cocktail, and then demanding more alcoholic beverages. Two hours after takeoff, passengers near the now-soused man were asking to be moved, as Schneider was threatening them.
The complaint continued by describing how a flight attendant tried to calm Schneider. But this caused him to grow more agitated and he started swearing, advanced on the crewmember, and then pushed him.
Then, "when a nearby passenger tried to calm Schneider down, Schneider threatened to kill the passenger," said the complaint.
The drunken passenger made his way to the galley, followed by the flight attendant, where another physical altercation took place, which resulted in Schneider falling into a passenger's lap. "Simultaneously, Schneider grabbed the curtain between the galley and the passenger seating area, and ripped it off its rings," an FBI agent wrote in the complaint.
Once restrained with plastic handcuffs, he managed to slide one of his hands out, the complaint added.
Delta said in a statement, via the AP, that flight attendants were able to restrain Schneider before landing, and police officers met the plane once it was on the ground.
Schneider appeared at a detention hearing in a Honolulu federal court Friday clad in a prison jumpsuit.
"He's sorry the whole thing happened," Peter Wolff, Schneider's federal public defender, said to the AP after the hearing. Schneider, a waiter and student, doesn't remember what happened, Wolff said.
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