DENPASAR, INDONESIA – An Australian passenger who sparked a hijack alert on a flight to Bali has denied being drunk and claimed he banged on the door of the cockpit after mistaking it for the toilet, Indonesian police said Saturday.
Matt Christopher Lockley also said he was in a state of depression during the Virgin Australia flight Friday to the resort island, as he was searching for his Indonesian wife with whom he had lost contact, they said.
Security forces rushed to the airport on the Indonesian island when the Boeing 737-800 from Brisbane touched down following a report from the pilot of a hijacking attempt after a passenger started thumping on the cockpit door.
Lockley, wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt, was dragged off the plane by heavily armed air force personnel and arrested by police. The alert prompted a shutdown of the airport and the diversion of several flights.
Indonesian officials initially said he had been drunk, but police said Saturday the 28-year-old has denied being under the influence of alcohol.