Utah man charged with threatening air marshals

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Utah man has been charged in federal court after authorities say he threatened to shoot air marshals, hijack the flight and urinate in the cabin of a Delta Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Detroit.

During a Thursday appearance in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, a judge allowed Jared L. Hansen to remain free pending a Nov. 7 hearing in Detroit. Hansen was ordered to surrender his passport and abstain from drinking alcohol, among other conditions.

He didn't return a telephone message seeking comment Thursday, and no attorney was listed for him in court records.

Hansen, 31, was aboard an Oct. 4 Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit when authorities say he attempted to use the bathroom in the business class section of the cabin. Members of the flight crew asked him to either return to his seat or use the facilities in the rear of the cabin, but he refused, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Hansen, who was believed to be heavily intoxicated, then threatened to urinate in the cabin and exposed himself, authorities said.

Law enforcement on hand
The flight crew alerted four federal air marshals on the plane, who then identified themselves as police officers.

"Mr. Hansen took an aggressive posture by adjusting his stance and clinching his fists at his side," the criminal complaint says.

Hansen then pushed one of the officers and was handcuffed for the remainder of the flight, authorities said.

During that time, according to the complaint, Hansen made several threats, including that he had a gun and a bomb, that he would shoot the air marshals and harm their families, then exclaimed, "This is a hijacking." He did not have any weapons.

Hansen was detained and questioned in Detroit, then allowed to continue on to his home in Salt Lake City, said Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.

Authorities charged him on Oct. 6 with assault on a federal officer, giving false information about carrying weapons and interfering with a flight crew. He was arrested in Salt Lake City over the weekend.

A hefty sentence
If convicted, Hansen faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Oct. 4 incident occurred on the same day jury selection began in the trial of a Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down an Amsterdam-to-Detroit plane with a bomb in his underwear.

That flight was just moments from landing when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate the bomb in his pants. It failed to go off, but his clothes caught fire, and passengers subdued him. Abdulmutallab, who acknowledged working for al-Qaida and never denied the allegations, pleaded guilty on Wednesday.