Man Fined $52,000 For Assaulting Crew And Attempting To Reach Cockpit

Ruling on an incident that took place in late December of 2020, a federal grand jury is charging a Hawaiian man with federal crimes for disruptive and violent behavior. During the Delta Air Lines flight from Honolulu to Seattle, 21-year-old Ryan Cajimat allegedly attempted to open the cockpit door and struggled with flight attendants who tried to restrain him.


Delta Air Line’s non-stop service between Honolulu and Seattle currently uses an Airbus A330-900. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The December 2020 incident

During a Delta flight from Honolulu to Seattle on December 24th, 2020, 21-year-old Ryan Cajimat of Kapolei (Hawaii) allegedly attempted to open the cockpit door. Taking place approximately two hours before the aircraft was due to arrive in Seattle, flight crews responded by attempting to restrain Cajimat, who violently resisted.

The US Department of Justice states that the accused punched one flight attendant in the face two times. It appears that Cajimat was eventually restrained and remained so for the rest of the flight. Upon landing in Seattle, he was removed from the plane and taken into custody. With the FBI taking the lead on the investigation.

HNL-SEA
The incident took place on a flight from Honolulu to Seattle on December 24th, 2020. Photo: GCMap.com

Charges faced by the accused

Cajimat faces two federal crimes for his disruptive and violent conduct and is scheduled to appear for arraignment on November 18th, 2021.

The man faces several penalties from various authorities and groups:

The Federal Aviation Administration issued Cajimat a fine of $52,500Delta Air Lines has banned him from further travel on the airlineAnd, of course, the most serious of consequences, the US Department of Justice has charged him with (1) interference with flight crew members and attendants and (2) assault within a special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

The felonies have pretty serious consequences. Interference is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Meanwhile, assault on an aircraft is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

A330neo-cockpit
The accused allegedly attempted to open the cockpit door of the AIrubs A330-900. Photo: Airbus

Reaction from Delta Air Lines

A Delta Air Lines spokesperson declined to comment specifically on the 2020 incident. However, Simple Flying was directed to a collection of statements from airline executives regarding employee and passenger safety.

In the September 2021 memo, Kristen Manion Taylor, S.V.P. – InFlight Service at Delta, noted that the airline now has more than 1,600 people on their “no-fly” list, “and we’ve submitted more than 600 banned names to the FAA in 2021 as part of their Special Emphasis Enforcement Program.” Taylor adds that Delta has asked other airlines to share their “no-fly” lists to further protect airline employees across the industry, saying “a list of banned customers doesn’t work as well if that customer can fly with another airline.”

The trade group known as Airlines for America (A4A), which represents Delta and most other US carriers, is advocating for stronger actions from federal agencies and authorities.

What kind of sentence do you think will be handed down if Cajimat is found guilty? And what do you think is fitting? Let us know by leaving a comment.