Man accused of punching attendant after trying to enter cockpit on Seattle flight

SEATTLE — A federal grand jury charged a Hawaii man this week with two federal crimes for allegedly punching a flight attendant and trying to open the cockpit door during a flight to Seattle last year.

According to records filed in the case and public reports, Ryan Cajimat, 21, of Kapolei was on a Delta Airlines flight from Honolulu to Seattle on Dec. 24, 2020, when he became disorderly.

Records say that about two hours before landing in Seattle, Cajimat tried to open the cockpit door and struggled with flight attendants who were trying to restrain him. One flight attendant was punched in the face twice.

Cajimat was restrained for the rest of the flight and was removed from the plane when it landed at Sea-Tac.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a $52,500 fine and Delta Airlines banned him from travel on the airline.

Cajimat was charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants and assault within a special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

Interference is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Assault on an aircraft is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Walton-Anderson.