The Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced Friday that a 26-year-old Dutch man has been charged with a slew of aviation offences after going on a rampage during a recent flight between Kuala Lumpur and Perth, Western Australia. The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was remanded in custody after appearing at Perth Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon.
The Dutch national is alleged to have attacked five passengers and a member of cabin crew after trouble began roughly three hours into the five-hour flight. Witnesses say the man left his seat and went to the back of the plane where he started to talk and shout at himself – the sudden change in behaviour seems to have come without warning.
When cabin crew attempted to calm the man down it’s claimed he started banging his head on the overhead bins and sidewalls of the plane. He then started to move towards the front of the plane before assaulting a flight attendant who tried to stop him. He also assaulted a passenger before cabin crew and passengers were able to subdue and restrain him.
The suspect was charged with five counts of assaulting passengers, one count of assaulting a cabin crew member and one count of causing offensive and disorderly behaviour.
“Disruptive and dangerous behaviour on a flight can have very serious consequences,” commented the AFP’s Acting Commander of aviation policing Martin Goode.
“Anyone who puts the safety of crew and their fellow passengers at risk – either in the sky or on the ground – will be prosecuted,” he continued.
The man faces a maximum penalty of 10-years imprisonment for assaulting the member of cabin crew.
Although the incident actually happened last Sunday, the man has only just been charged and had remained in custody for almost a week. The AFP did not release any further details, including which airline the man was flying on. At present Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air and AirAsia X currently operate direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Perth.