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Man accused of rushing cockpit, attacking flight attendant on flight from Boston to San Juan

Khalil El Dahr was arrested and is facing federal charges.

Stephan Savoia / AP, File

A man aboard a JetBlue flight traveling from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico, was arrested this week after he allegedly attacked a flight attendant while attempting to storm the cockpit of the plane.

Khalil El Dahr was ultimately restrained by six or seven members of the flight crew and taken into custody when the plane landed, according to an FBI affidavit.

According to investigators, JetBlue Flight 261 was just over an hour from its destination on Wednesday when El Dahr attempted to make a phone call and became angry when it didn’t go through. About 45 minutes before the plane was expected to land, El Dahr allegedly got out of his seat and rushed toward the cockpit, yelling in Spanish asking to be shot.

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A flight attendant then physically grabbed him, corralling him in the front row of seats before the plane’s galley, officials said. According to the FBI, at that time, a member of the flight crew opened the cockpit door, and El Dahr then allegedly grabbed the flight attendant by their collar and tie, kicking them in the chest and yelling at the crew member to shoot him.

His grip on the tie choked the flight attendant, who let go of El Dahr in order to breathe, but then grabbed back ahold of him to prevent him from reaching the galley and cockpit, according to investigators.

Six or seven members of the flight crew used makeshift restraints, including uniform ties, four seat belt extenders, and flex cuffs, to hold El Dahr, keeping him in the back of the plane until the flight landed in Puerto Rico where he was taken into custody, according to the investigators.

El Dahr is charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants.

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