Man who caused plane diversion says was drinking
- Associated Press
- February 12, 2014 - 2:50 PM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A passenger whose behavior caused a commercial airline flying from Tokyo to New York City to be diverted to Anchorage told federal investigators he had been drinking on the plane, court documents state.
Nobuya Michael Ochinero, 38, was arrested and interviewed by FBI agents early Monday, the Anchorage Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1lCQMUf ).
He has been charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants. He pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance on Tuesday, his attorney, Jamie McGrady with the public defender's office, said.
The affidavit unsealed Tuesday says Ochinero told investigators he had about four shots of gin and two beers during the flight before getting upset and yelling at flight attendants when they refused to serve him more alcohol.
The sworn statement by FBI special agent Angela M. Strause also says dozens of pill packets were found in Ochinero's carry-on luggage, which he said were used for treating conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
At an Anchorage jail, Ochinero had a blood-alcohol level of 0.137, Strause said. The amount is well over the legal limit to drive.
One flight attendant told investigators Ochinero pulled on the scarf around her neck and began swearing when she refused to serve him more alcohol. Another crew member said Ochinero struck and pushed her as she tried to calm him, according to the affidavit.
Ochinero told investigators he didn't want the flight attendants to touch him. He was eventually restrained by crew members and passengers using zip-tie handcuffs.
Ochinero has dual citizenship in Japan and the United States, the affidavit says.
© 2014 Star Tribune