An American man who caused a mid-air bomb threat and assaulted a flight attendant onboard a Singapore Airlines flight from San Francisco had consumed a Cannabis-laden chocolate bar a few hours before his behavior prompted a major security alert.
A lawyer representing La Andy Hien Duc, 37, told a Singapore court that he had consumed the chocolate bar just before he boarded the flight in San Francisco. It remains unclear, however, whether the chocolate bar played any part in Hien Duc’s outburst.
Earlier this week Hien Duc was sentenced to three weeks imprisonment for assaulting a flight attendant, although the court ruled that he was immediately eligible for parole because he had already spent four weeks in prison on remand following the September 28 incident.
Hien Duc told prosecutors that during the flight he saw a vision of a “white light in one of the overhead compartments and heard the voice in his head telling him that the bomb was in a bag in that overhead compartment.”
He got out of his seat, opened an overhead locker about four rows in front and removed another passenger’s bag while shouting at least twice that there was a bomb onboard the aircraft.
Flight attendants checked the bag and found that there was only food inside but Hien Duc insisted that the crew then check every bag onboard. He was escorted to the galley at the back of the plane where his behavior became ever more erratic and he slapped a flight attendant across the face.
Singapore’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that it scrambled F-16 fighter jets in response to the bomb threat and after the flight safely landed it was towed to an isolated area of the airport where military personnel boarded to search for a bomb.
Hien Duc was diagnosed with schizophrenia during his time on remand and has been deemed a danger to the public. He is due to be deported back to the United States.
The court decided to drop the bomb threat charges after giving Hien Duc a “stern telling off”.
Last month, a united Airlines passenger admitted consuming magic mushrooms shortly before boarding a flight from Miami to Washington D.C. During the flight, Cherruy Loghan Sevilla of Houston, Texas, stands accused of breaking a lavatory door and acting erratically.
Sevilla initially told FBI agents that he wasn’t “totally surprised” by his behavior after consuming the magic mushrooms but later told media outlets that this wasn’t the case.
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.