A JetBlue passenger choked a female flight attendant with his necktie and begged to be shot, report says

·2 min read
JetBlue plane
The unruly passenger reportedly became frustrated after a phone call didn't go through. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
  • A passenger on a JetBlue flight from Boston to Puerto Rico allegedly choked a flight attendant with a necktie.

  • He yelled that he wanted to be shot while trying to break into the cockpit, CBSN Boston reported.

  • The passenger was arrested and faced one federal charge, according to the FBI.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An unruly passenger on a JetBlue flight from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico, was arrested after he allegedly choked a flight attendant with his necktie while trying to force his way into the plane's cockpit on Wednesday evening, according to CBSN Boston.

Khalil El Dahr reportedly became agitated after a cell phone call he tried to make did not go through, the local media outlet reported. Shortly after, he rushed towards the cockpit of Flight 261, yelling that he wanted to be shot in Spanish and Arabic, investigators said.

A flight attendant opened the cockpit door, CBSN Boston said, and El Dahr proceeded to choke her with his necktie, it is alleged. He then tried to break into the cockpit, the local media outlet said.

El Dahr kicked the flight attendant in the chest while he tightened the necktie and stopped the crew member from breathing, according to an FBI affidavit.

He was restrained by six or seven crew members using neckties, flex cuffs, and seatbelt extensions, CBSN Boston reported.

El Dahr was arrested in Puerto Rico after the flight had landed and faced at least one federal charge of interference with flight crew members, the affidavit says.

He is still in custody in Puerto Rico, The Washington Post reported.

Insider reached out to JetBlue for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

This summer, there has been a surge of incidents of unruly behavior on flights, including travelers who have hit, yelled at, and harassed staff members.

Last month, a JetBlue Airways passenger was fined $45,000 for putting his head up a flight attendant's skirt, the Federal Aviation Administration said, Insider's Dominick Reuter reported.

Insider's Zahra Tayeb reported that flight attendants say the stress of dealing with problematic passengers has left them exhausted and fearing for their safety.

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