FBI: Man Allegedly Bites US Marine After Attempting Midflight Yoga

ByABC News
March 31, 2016, 1:39 PM
A plane's cabin with closely packed seats is seen in this undated file photo.
A plane's cabin with closely packed seats is seen in this undated file photo.
Getty Images

— -- A flight to Tokyo was forced to return to Honolulu last week when a male passenger became violent, resisting the flight crew and allegedly biting a U.S. Marine who tried to assist.

Hyongtae Pae, a citizen of South Korea, was in the rear of the aircraft, meditating, when he was asked to return to his seat. He had seated himself in the middle of the aircraft’s galley, or kitchen, according to an FBI criminal complaint.

Pae became angry and refused to comply with the flight attendants’ requests, becoming increasingly agitated. A member of the flight crew was advised by the lead flight attendant that he was yelling, “there is no god,” and being verbally abusive to the crew. He also allegedly pushed his wife, who he believed was siding with the crew.

United Airlines flight 903 was approximately one-and-a-half hours into a flight bound for Narita International Airport when the incident occurred.

Passengers, including at least one U.S. Marine, tried to assist the flight attendants in placing the man in restraints and moving him back to his seat. Pae allegedly bit and head-butted the Marine while he was being moved.Crew members told the FBI they felt threatened during the outburst.

Pae later told an investigator that he felt restless and moved to the back of the galley to meditate and do yoga. When the flight crew asked Pae to return to his seat, he did not realize it was illegal to disobey their directions. Pae told the FBI he hadn’t been able to sleep in 11 days.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang denied Pae’s request to return to Korea and ordered Pae to be held on $25,000 bond, requiring the foreign national to remain on the island of Oahu, according to reports by the Associated Press. Chang ordered Pae to undergo a mental health evaluation.

ABC News' Matthew Foster contributed to this report.