LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman described a flight from Portland to Houston as "traumatic" when a schizophrenic passenger caused a disturbance by trying to hit a flight attendant and passengers Tuesday night.
Shelia Torres said she was on the Continental Flight 1113 in Seat 26F with her husband when Yazeed Mohammed A. Abunayyan, 19, became upset with a flight attendant who confronted him and his cousin, Fahad Alsubaie. The 21-year-old cousin says the disruption began because Alsubaie was in the wrong seat.
Authorities allege Abunayyan swung his fist at a flight attendant, tried to hit passengers and mentioned Osama bin Laden during the flight. Police arrested him Tuesday night at Portland International Airport after his Continental flight turned around following the incident, according to the Associated Press.
Torres, a real estate agent, said she went to Oregon to attend a work seminar.
"It just goes to show you do not take anything for granted," she said.
Torres said Abunayyan approached her and her husband before the flight and asked if it was time to board. Torres said the plane was filled to capacity.
After the disturbance, the flight was turned around, where the two were taken off the plane. It then took off again for Houston.
"I was amazed because it was dead silent the rest of the way home. I mean no one said anything," Torres said.
Torres said it was the first time her husband had flown.
"He just held my hand the whole time and he said, 'don't panic,'" Torres said. "We'll get through this. Just don't panic. We'll get through this."
Abunayyan has been indicted on charges of interfering with a flight crew.