HONOLULU (KHON2) — Steven Sloan Jr. has been charged in federal court with assault and interference with a flight crew. Sloan was taken into custody by state sheriffs aboard a Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight to Hilo after it returned to Honolulu. According to the federal criminal complaint, Sloan assaulted a male flight attendant by striking and hitting the person in the chest and in the back of his head.
Sloan’s initial appearance and plea was scheduled to be held at the Honolulu federal court building this morning, with Sloan provisionally represented by a federal public defender. However, the court clerk told KHON2 Sloan was not able to participate from the Federal Detention Center so the hearing was continued to Monday. Prosecutors have filed a motion for detention until trial; that motion is also still pending.
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According to the criminal complaint, the flight attendant identified as K.K. was walking down the aisle collecting trash. When he approached row 6, where Sloan was seated, Sloan punched him in the chest “with a closed right fist.” The criminal complaint goes on to say: Sloan “arose from his seat, and they were then standing face-to-face in the aisle. K.K. could tell that Sloan was ‘upset or agitated’ and without saying anything, K.K. observed that Sloan began to shift his weight and pull his right arm back as if he was going to punch him again. K.K. took a defensive posture and attempted to cover his body and create space from Sloan when he felt a punch to the back left side of his head, near his ear.”
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After the attack, “Sloan was reseated and acted as if nothing had happened… K.K. advised the other flight attendants to abandon their normal flight duties and to man the doors of the aircraft in the event Sloan went for the doors. The captain of the plane was advised of this and the captain decided to return to Honolulu.”
The federal criminal complaint can be read here.