Man subdued during attempt to rush cockpit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man subdued during attempt to rush cockpit

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September 18, 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- The FBI says a man aboard an international flight from Cape Town, South Africa, to Atlanta was arrested today after he attempted to break into the plane's cockpit.

Theodore Jackson, FBI special agent-in-charge in Atlanta, says the incident on the South African Airlines flight was not an attempted terrorist attack. James Drake, a 53-year-old American citizen, faces federal charges including interference with a flight crew member. Spokesman Jeff Holmes the FBI did not immediately know Drake's hometown.

The incident occurred at 6:30AM, about two-and-a-half hours before the plane was scheduled to land in Atlanta.

Drake allegedly began banging on the cockpit door with his hands. Two passengers -- a deputy sheriff from Reno, Nevada, and a psychiatrist -- managed to stop and restrain the man. Holmes says the two passengers then persuaded Drake to sit back down in his seat for the rest of the flight.

Drake was arrested in 1987 after a similar incident. He is being held pending an initial hearing in federal magistrate court in Atlanta. Holmes says officials will probably be asking for a mental evaluation of Drake.

posted at 4:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com