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South Korean man turns violent during a flight as he was unable to practice yoga

  • 16
  • 04
  • 2016

A recent flight from Hawaii to Japan was forced to turn around mid air after a 72 year old male passenger became violent and aggressive, the flight crew deemed him to be a risk to passengers and himself.

Hyongtae Pae, a retired South Korean farmer and his wife were travelling to their home country, Japan, after having spent their fortieth wedding anniversary in Honolulu. Approximately an hour and a half into the nine hour United Airlines flight, Pae became difficult and refused to follow the directions of flight attendants, turning violent and yelling in Korean.

He told the FBI agents in charge of the case that the problems arose when flight attendants tried to “order him around,” he said that while meals were being served he preferred to meditate and perform yoga as he was experiencing anxiety and had not slept well for the past 11 days during his vacation.

Staff on the flight asked fellow passengers, including five U.S marines, to help restrain the man and help him to his seat. However Pae resisted more, attempting to head butt and bite the U.S marines, threatening to kill one of the men.

The returning flight was met by airport security and FBI agents who detained Pae and led him to the federal detention centre in Honolulu, where he was placed on suicide watch.  U.S magistrate Kevin Chang ordered Pae’s bond to be set at $25,000 however with the condition that he remains on the island of Oahu, Pae’s appeal to return home to South Korea was denied as Chang believes he is not currently able to fly.

During this process his wife has been staying at the luxurious Waikiki Gateway Hotel, and when asked if she had the necessary money to remain after Pae’s release the couples defense attorney, Jin Tae Kim, claimed they were working with the consulate to find alternative housing and have money transferred.

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