Passenger on flight diverted to Cleveland held on $1M

3:29 PM, Jul 12, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland Municipal Court judge set a $1 million bond this morning for the Saudi Arabian man who caused a United flight from Chicago to Frankfurt to land unscheduled July 8 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The FBI and Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath had arrested Saleh Ali S. Alramakh, aka Saleh Ali S. Alramaleh, 21, of Riyadh Saudi Arabia who now lives in Akron, on Monday.

Alramakh remains in the Cuyahoga County jail.

He appeared in U.S. District Court in Cleveland at 3 p.m. before Magistrate Judge McHargh to answer to the federal charge. The federal complaint had been sealed and was not unsealed until Alramaleh appeared in federal court.

Alramakh was arrested by the FBI on a federal felony charge of interference with flight crew members and attendants on Friday.

On July 8, Saleh Ali S. Alramakh was a passenger on board United Airlines flight 944 from Chicago, Illinois to Frankfurt, Germany that was diverted to Cleveland due to an "unruly passenger."

Flight crew and passengers stated that during taxi while in Chicago, Alramakh entered the middle lavatory and used an electronic device. Alramakh refused to respond to the flight attendant's directives requesting that he immediately turn off the electronic device and return to his seat. Alramakh eventually did return to his seat.

Immediately following take off and during the time passengers are required to remain seated with seat belts fastened, Alramakh re-entered the middle lavatory and again used an electronic device.

He again refused to comply with the directives of flight attendants' that he immediately exit the lavatory and return to his seat. After several attempts to get Alramakh to open the lavatory door, flight attendants unlocked and opened the door. Upon opening the lavatory door, Alramakh became verbally abusive with the flight attendants before returning to his seat.

Thereafter, investigators say Alramakh exited his seat a third time and approached a flight attendant in a belligerent, confrontational manner. Alramakh was speaking in a loud tone of voice, using profanity, with his face inches from the flight attendant's face.

The flight attendant asked Alramakh to step back multiple times, but instead Alramakh shoved the flight attendant backwards against the aircraft. At that time at least one passenger intervened, grabbing Alramakh and assisted the flight crew in restraining him.

Alramakh refused to comply with instructions to cease resisting, attempting to kick and spit upon flight attendants and passengers.

As a result of Alramakh's conduct, the flight was diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland.

Upon entering the aircraft, responding Cleveland Police Department officers found Alramakh restrained on the floor of the aircraft near the mid-lavatory area, and he was taken into custody and removed from the aircraft.


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