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American passenger arrested after brawl on Tokyo-Los Angeles flight

AFP-JIJI

Police have arrested a drunken American man over a punch-up with another passenger on an All Nippon Airways flight, which caused a delay, officers said Wednesday.

The man, whose name has not been released, was pulled off the Boeing 777 that was due to fly from Tokyo’s main gateway Narita airport to Los Angeles, after the brawl erupted before takeoff.

The passenger, who was wearing a red Hawaiian shirt, can be heard shouting “I will kill you!” in footage filmed by another passenger, who uploaded it on social media.

“The plane was about 50 minutes late, so everyone was a little irritated because of that, kinda frustrated,” Corey Hour, the passenger who shot the video, told the BBC.

The man in the red Hawaiian shirt is seen throwing punches at another male passenger, as other people on the flight try to escape the area, until ANA staff separate the two men.

The red-shirted man then shakes off the female flight attendant’s attempts to restrain him and continues to throw punches.

“The flight attendants actually got caught up in the mix and that’s when the video ends as I put my phone down and I actually got in the middle of everyone and confronted him,” Hour added.

“The suspect, a U.S. citizen, was drunk and arrested after he injured an ANA official following the fight,” a member of the airport police said.

The man’s arrest was formally over his injuring the airline official, not the onboard brawl, said the airport police spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Media reports said that investigators also questioned the American about the fight on the plane.

As of lunchtime Wednesday, the man remained in detention in Japan, the police spokesman said.

The fight, as well as bad weather, forced ANA to delay the departure of the flight by one hour and 40 minutes, according to media reports.

ANA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.