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Right off the bat- this is not another United Airlines style incident. This was a flight attendant using incredible instinct to protect a flight full of passengers from a lunatic. A Thursday evening Delta flight from Seattle to Beijing almost had that nightmare scenario-of a passenger attempting to open the airplane door mid-flight (that’s not good) become a reality, if not for some vino…

The Scenario

Delta Flight 129 departed Seattle on time Thursday night-bound for Beijing. An hour after take off, a rather uneventful flight became something too wild for Hollywood, when a passenger traveling on an airline employee “buddy pass”, flying business class went to the lavatory. Moments after shutting the lavatory door, he frantically ran out of the lavatory, bound for the planes’ exit door. He attempted to open the handle, getting it half way up, before having two bottles of dessert wine smashed over his head. If you didn’t appreciate port before, you certainly should now. Though the man couldn’t have been successful due to pressurization, a cockpit alarm announcing the disarmed door is said to have gone off…

But Wait…

But that didn’t stop him. The man managed to smash a bottle over a passengers head while resisting, wrestling with crew and passengers alike. At this point- it’s fair to say that Joseph Hudek IV, the perpetrator- was a mad man. This was seriously dangerous. Despite suffering severe facial lacerations and injuries from a seemingly unstoppable Hudek, who presumably was on some insane regiment of drugs and alcohol, a group of passengers and crew finally managed to subdue Hudek, tie him to his seat and subdue him until the plane could make an emergency landing back in Seattle. We should be incredibly grateful to the crew for their swift, instinctual reactions. This may be the first occasion where spilling wine was completely acceptable.

The Conclusion To The Madness…

According to reports, Hudek’s madness didn’t stop on the plane. While being transported to jail, tied to a wheelchair, Hudek managed to resist-tipping over the wheelchair in the airport and continuing to shout “Do you know who I am”… because that often leads to good things. Kudos to the crew, kudos to the passengers seated in Delta One Business Class who quite literally rose to the occasion even getting injured to protect the flight. The man faces up to 20 years in jail- let’s hope he gets every single one of them.

Was this excessive force, or was it just right?

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