A man who disrupted the boarding of an American Airlines flight from Seattle to Dallas Fort Worth by throwing up so-called Hitler salutes and shouting about a race war in front of startled passengers has a history of assault and indecent exposure allegations, court records show.
Nicholas Edward Letney of Washington state was tackled to the floor by police officers and arrested on Sunday after causing a public disturbance at SeaTac Airport just as other passengers were lining up to board their flight.
Letney was caught on camera by his alarmed fellow passengers causing a loud commotion at the podium, throwing up Hitler salutes and shouting “Heil Hitler” at the top of his voice.
The 31-year-old suspect then went on to shout about a race war before local law enforcement arrived at the gate and detained Letney. The video shared by passengers on Reddit and other social media is graphic and may cause offense.
Letney was identified after the incident by the non-profit Stop Antisemitism group. Court records for the Seattle area show that Letney was arrested in 2019 for domestic assault, but the case was dropped without prejudice by reason of incompetency.
A mental health evaluation of Letney was sealed by the court.
Letney was also arrested in 2016 on suspicion of indecent assault, but this case was also dropped by reason of incompetency. In that case, a police report noted that Letney was shouting about the Cold War at the time of his arrest.
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.