Unruly passenger who stormed plane cockpit, strangled crew member under investigation

Web report/Boston
Filed on September 26, 2021
Photo: AFP

He was eventually restrained with the help of seven flight attendants

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the JetBlue passenger, who stormed a plane's cockpit and strangled a cabin crew member in a shocking incident last week.

The unruly traveller, identified as Khalil El Dhar, had to be restrained by flight attendants on the flight from Boston to San Juan on Wednesday evening.

According to an FBI affidavit obtained by The Daily Beat, the man became agitated as he was unsuccessful in making a call. Forty five minutes before the plane was due to land, he angrily rushed into the cockpit to get to the front of the plane, yelling to be shot.

The affidavit further stated that El Dhar grabbed a JetBlue flight attendant by the tie with one hand and used his other hand to grab the overhead compartment in order to gain leverage to kick.

William Lopez, a special agent of the FBI’s San Juan Division, said that he grabbed the tie so firmly that, at one point, the attendant was unable to breathe.


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Another crew member was eventually able to get El Dhar to loosen his grip on the tie and prevent him from gaining access to the flight deck.

He was restrained with the help of seven attendants, flex cuffs, a tie and a belt in a seat at the back of the plane and the flight made a safe landing.

He was arrested upon landing and faces felony charges.

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