A U.S.-bound All Nippon Airways plane had to return to Tokyo after an intoxicated passenger allegedly bit a flight attendant mid-journey, the Japanese carrier said Wednesday.

The passenger, reportedly a 55-year-old American man, sunk his teeth into the crew member's arm while "heavily drunk," leaving her mildly injured, an ANA spokesman said.

The attack prompted pilots of the plane with 159 passengers on board to turn back over the Pacific to Haneda Airport, where the man was handed over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, according to the airline.