Feds charge Oregon man taken off Hawaiian Air flight
The U.S. attorney's office in Portland, Ore., on Friday filed a charge of interfering with a crew member against a passenger, Joseph Hedlund Johnson of Salem, Ore.
On Wednesday, a Maui-bound Hawaiian Airlines flight from Portland, was turned around and escorted by two F-15 military fighters because of allegedly uncooperative behavior by Johnson.
An FBI affidavit said Johnson, traveling with his girlfriend, held his carry-on bag closely and was unhappy he couldn’t stow it under his seat.
He was in the bulkhead row, so there was no seat ahead to provide storage beneath, the affidavit said. Attendants told him the space beneath his seat was reserved for the feet of the passenger behind.
Then the 56-year-old then filled out a comment card with phrases about death and crashing, and he gave it to an attendant who passed it along to the pilot, the affidavit said.
The note said: “I thought I was going to die, we were so high up, I thought to myself: I hope we don’t crash and burn or worse yet, landing in the ocean, living through it, only to be eaten by sharks, or worse yet, end up on someplace like gilligan’s island, stranded, or worse yet, be eaten by a tribe of headhunters, speaking of headhunters, why do they just eat outsiders and not the family members? Strange . . . and what if the plane ripped apart in mid-flight and we plumited [sic] to earth, landed on gilligan’s Island and then live through it, and the only women there was Mrs. Thurston Howell III? No Mary Anne (my favorite), no ginger, just Lovey! If it were just her, I think I’d opt for the sharks, maybe the headhunters.”
“The Captain stated that he absolutely felt threatened by the contents of the card, especially when he considered Johnson’s earlier suspicious behavior with his bag,” the affidavit said.
A search after the plane returned showed Johnson and his girlfriend had no dangerous items, the FBI said.
Johnson was not jailed. He is expected to appear in court Monday.