WICHITA (CN) - A New York man was criminally charged Wednesday with threatening to take down an American Airlines flight and kill another passenger after flight attendants refused to serve him beer.
Jason Baroletti, 38, Holbrook, was charged in Federal Court with interfering with the performance of the duties of flight crew members.
Baroletti was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 622 on Tuesday, carrying 131 people from Phoenix to New York. Ten minutes after takeoff, Baroletti started smoking an e-cigarette. When flight attendants told him he was not allowed to vape on the plane, he said he had anxiety and demanded a drink immediately, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. Baroletti already had had a couple of beers during his layover in Phoenix, the FBI agent said.
When flight attendants said they would not serve Baroletti alcohol due to his agitated state, "He became extremely upset and threatened to sue, then threatened to kill the passenger seated in 7F, then claimed he would take the plane down. All of this while being loud and disruptive," according to a witness account in the FBI agent's affidavit.
A doctor who tried to calm Baroletti down told him that alcohol was the last thing he needed.
"(Baroletti) then threatened to kill me and was going to take me out on the tarmac in
New York and beat me. (Baroletti) then said he was going to knock the beard off
my face," the doctor told the FBI agent.
Another witness told the FBI agent: "When he [Baroletti] was refused alcohol he told them he was going to take the plane down. He repeated several times that he was going to take us all down with him."
The pilot landed the plane in Wichita to remove Baroletti from the aircraft. He was arrested at the airport.
Baroletti's criminal history includes narcotics possession, criminal threat, a DUI and sale of a controlled substance, according to the federal complaint.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
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