A JAPAN-BOUND flight was forced to return to Hawaii on Saturday after a passenger, who was doing yoga and meditating at the back of the plane, turned aggressive and refused to listen to the cabin crew’s requests for him to go back to his seat.
According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, South Korean Hyongtae Pae, 72, was yelling at crew members and shoving his wife, which made the pilot decide to turn the plane around.
According to the Guardian, the complaint also said Pae had threatened to kill passengers and was shouting that there was no god.
In his statement to the FBI, Pae said he didn’t want to sit in his seat during the meal service, so he went to the back of the plane to do yoga and meditate, ignoring requests for him to return to his seat.
Prosecutors at the detention hearing on Wednesday said Pae even tried to head-butt and bite the Marine passengers who restrained him.
However, defense attorney J.T. Kim said that Pae had been sleep-deprived and suffered from anxiety, resulting in his untoward behavior. Pae had only recently taken to practicing yoga to help manage his condition.
Pae and his wife had traveled to Hawaii from South Korea to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
The U.S. magistrate judge ordered that Pae be released on US$25,000 bond, but was not allowed to leave the island of Oahu and would have to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Additional reporting by Associated Press