LOS ANGELES – A 20-year-old man from Kihei, Maui, was charged with one count of interfering with a flight crew, after he threatened to kill flight attendants and passengers on a British Airways flight from London to Los Angeles, Monday.
FBI agents from the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Kevin Lee Mosele after the plane landed at LAX. After he appeared in U.S. District Court Tuesday, Mosele was released on a $10,000 bond, and ordered to return for an arraignment on August 4.
Captain Sean Dewbury, the pilot for British Airways flight BA283, told the FBI that two hours into the flight, a flight attendant that there was an “abusive and disruptive passenger on the flight,” who was “swearing and screaming.”
Dewbury told Mosele if his behavior continued, he would divert the flight to Iceland and have the police remove him from the flight. Dewbury also considered landing in Calgary and Toronto, Canada.
According to passenger Natalie Bean, Mosele began to mock the captain and said, “I dare you. You won’t land for just one person.”
Mosele continued to ignore Dewbury’s warning and became more aggressive, the FBI affidavit said, even claiming he had a bomb on the aircraft.
British Airways Flight Attendant Michael Crawley told FBI agents that Mosele appeared intoxicated, and as he became increasingly agitated, threaten flight attendants, saying, “I am going to fucking kill you” and “Let me go; I am going to open this door.”
British Airways flight attendant Christopher Green said he discovered two small wine bottles and two small whiskey bottles in Mosele’s seat area, not the same as those sold on the flight and believes Mosele brought the alcohol on the flight.
Male flight attendants took turns sitting next to Mosele attempting to calm him down, but when that didn’t work, they used restraining devices handcuffs and “webbing.”
British Airways Flight Attendant William James reported that after Mosele was handcuffed he spit on a flight attendant’s face and said, “You better let me out or I am going to kill you and open the aircraft door.” He also yelled, “I will find you on Facebook and kill you.”
James said Mosele was “swearing a lot” and “working himself up.” After being restrained, he spent the next eight hours struggling in the restraints, screaming, and spiting.
After he was arrested in LAX, Mosele told FBI Special Agent Kevin Hogg that he had a nine-hour layover in London Heathrow International Airport, during which time he consumed “a couple of beers and a couple of wine beverages” and also purchased a bottle of white wine.
Mosele claimed he was joking with female flight attendants for about 90 minutes and walking around the rear of the plane, before a male flight attendant thought he was getting too aggressive, and asked him to take his seat. Mosele admitted he began screaming at the male flight attendant, becoming extremely agitated after being put into the restraining cuffs.
Mosele apologized to the FBI agent and said he went “crazy” when restrained and admitted yelling things like, “I’m going to open the door and jump out”, “I’m going to find you on Facebook and kill everyone”, “I’m going to blow up the plane”, “fuck you” and “a lot of bad words.”
Mosele told the FBI agent, “I apologize, it’s all my fault”, “I’m mad at myself” and claimed he is “90 percent at fault.”
Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said, “In this post 9/11 era, threatening to bomb an aircraft, murder the flight crew, or open the door mid-flight is something that we don’t take lightly.”
The FBI sees a lot of cases in Honolulu of people disrupting flight crews, Simon said, but added this was unusual that the defendant was actually a local man returning home to Maui, and his alleged threats of violence detailed in the criminal complaint were oddly specific.
“The defendant allegedly yelled at a member of the flight crew that he was going to find the crew member on Facebook and kill him. That had to be a chilling thing to hear at work,” Simon said.
The charge against Mosele could land him in federal prison for up to 20 years.