A federal judge has denied bond for the suspect accused of an unprovoked assault on a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant during a short flight within Hawaii last month.
Steven Sloan, Jr, 32, will remain in custody for at least another two weeks as prosecutors build their case against the Big Island native.
Sloan has been charged with third-degree assault following the incident onboard Hawaiian Airlines flight 152 from Honolulu to Hilo on September 23. The flight was forced to return to Honolulu for Sloan to be whisked away by Sheriff’s deputies.
A spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) which represents crew members at Hawaiian says the male flight attendant was struck by the suspect as he was walking through the cabin collecting trash.
“There was no escalating incident,” the spokesperson said. “All of a sudden from their seat (Sloan punched a flight attendant in the chest and then swung again at the flight attendant. There’s no clear reason why.”
Hawaiian Airlines said it was an “unprovoked incident” and had not been triggered by noncompliance with federal face mask rules.
Sloan initially spent time in solitary confinement due to behavioural issues. It was revealed during his court appearance that he is suffering from mental health issues.
Prosecutors asked the judge to deny Sloan bond because they believe he is a danger to the public and a flight risk.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.