A passenger described as “high as a kite” is accused of hitting fellow passengers, downing shots of Jack Daniels and twice breaking free of handcuffs on a flight from Denver to Charlotte on Monday afternoon.
Augustus James Duncan, 21, of Boulder, Colo., was jailed early Tuesday on a federal charge of assault by striking, beating or wounding within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.
A fellow passenger said Duncan was already high when he boarded American Airlines Flight 1704, FBI Special Agent Shawnda Drummond said in an affidavit. Duncan told a passenger he’d had five shots at a bar before boarding the flight that left Denver at 4:01 p.m. and arrived at Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 9:10 p.m., Drummond said.
When Duncan ordered a triple shot of Jack Daniels on the flight, a flight attendant refused the request but gave him a double shot instead, according to the affidavit. Duncan then tossed ice at the man seated in front of him, before standing up and pressing the man’s head down, the affidavit said.
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When Duncan released pressure on the man’s head, he elbowed the man in the head, according to the affidavit. The passenger heard his neck make a cracking noise, which a fellow passenger also heard, according to the affidavit.
A flight attendant was notified and recruited several people to surround Duncan as she handcuffed him. Duncan twice broke free of the cuffs before being handcuffed again, the affidavit said. Duncan then tried to flirt with the flight attendant, asking for her phone number and grabbing her leg, Drummond said in the affidavit.
Two other passengers said Duncan tried to give them Xanax pills during the flight. Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders.
When officers boarded the plane, Duncan appeared to have passed out, the affidavit said. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center and later jailed.
Staff researcher Maria David contributed.