Sat, Sep 20, 2003
Suspect Arrested In Atlanta
An American passenger who tried to break into the cockpit during
an SAA flight from South Africa to Atlanta is in the hands of
federal agents, turned over when the plane landed Thursday.
SAA identifies the man as 53-year old James Drake. Witnesses
aboard flight SA209 say he thought someone on the flight was trying
to kill him and that the cockpit was the only safe place.
"He did not enter the cockpit," a statement said. "The lives of
the 224 passengers, flight deck and cabin crew on SA209 were never
Not The First Time?
The South Africa
Daily News quotes FBI spokesman Jeff Holmes, who says Drake
was arrested in 1987 after a similar incident on an airplane.
In the latest incident Drake rushed to the front of the plane
and began banging on the cockpit door with his hands, Holmes
SAA flight attendants and passengers, who included a medical
doctor and an off-duty American police officer, calmed Drake and
assured him that he was safe in his seat.
Drake was reported to have been calm as the flight continued but
about two hours before arrival in Atlanta he again insisted that
there were people trying to murder him.
The captain of the flight had informed the FBI and US
immigration officials, who arrested Drake when the flight arrived
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