Hawaiian Airlines passenger punches flight attendant after 'hearing voices'
A passenger aboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight was arrested on federal charges for allegedly punching a flight attendant after 'hearing voices' for weeks, making the plane divert back to Honolulu, reports cited. Flight HA152 took off from Daniel K Inouye International Airport en route to Hilo on September 23, when 15 minutes into the flight Steve Sloan Jr punched a male crew member in the chest. Sloan is reported to later have slugged the flight attendant in the head and sat back down "as if nothing had happened".
Sloan lives on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. He was arrested when the flight landed back in Honolulu. He was charged with assault and interference with a flight crew and held at a federal lockup in the city. During a hearing in federal court Thursday, September 30, Magistrate Judge Rom Trader ordered Sloan to remain in custody to mitigate any risk of danger he might pose to the public or himself, reports cited.
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Assistant US Attorney Darren Ching cited Sloan’s mental health issues and drug use insisting that he remain locked up. "This is based on the fact that the government is alleging that this was an unprovoked attack as well as the defendant’s mental health issues, which included at least admissions that he’s been hearing voices for the last two weeks and that there’s reporting that someone who knows him also said that he’s been hearing voices for the last four weeks," Ching said. "Given his drug use and the safety issues, which I won’t detail that are contained in the pretrial services report with regard to him as well as the safety of others, the government agrees that at this time he should be detained, " he added.
Sloan’s lawyer, Salina Kanai, argued that he has no criminal history or any history of violence. "I do understand the court may have some things that give it pause. There’s recent use of drugs, there’s some mental issues potentially and, of course, the nature of the allegation. But I think those three things alone should not be barriers in a case where this is a nonpresumption case,” she said. Kanai further added that her client could be monitored by GPS and receive counseling. Sloan is due in court again on October 14.