Airline passenger fined $52K, charged with assaulting crew

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted a man accused of punching a flight attendant in the face twice and trying to open the cockpit door during a flight from Hawaii to Washington state.

Ryan Cajimat, 21, of Kapolei, Hawaii, is charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, as well as assault within a special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, the Department of Justice announced Friday. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 18.

Investigators say Cajimat was on a Delta Airlines flight from Honolulu to Seattle on Christmas Eve 2020 when he became disruptive and started struggling with flight attendants. He was restrained for the rest of the flight and was removed from the plane in Seattle.

A phone number for Cajimat could not be found Saturday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration fined Cajimat $52,500, and Delta Airlines banned him from traveling with the company.

Federal prosecutors say interference is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Assault on an aircraft is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.